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The Lewis Carroll Society of North America 

spring 2004 

Volume II Issue 3 

Number 73 

Knight Letter IS the official magazine of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America. 

It is published twice a year and is distributed free to all members. 

Subscriptions, business correspondence, and inquiries should be addressed 

to the Secretary, PO Box 204, Napa CA 94559. 

Annual membership dues are U.S. $20 (regular) and $50 (sustaining). 

Submissions and editorial correspondence should be sent to 

the Editor, preferably by email (, 

or mailed to PO Box 2006, Mill Valley CA 94942. 

ISSN 0193-886X 

Mark Burstein, Editor in Chief 

Matthew Demakos, Editor of "The Rectory Umbrella' 

Andrew H. Ogus, Designer 

The Lnuis Carroll Society of North America 

Alan Tannenbaum, 

Mark Burstein, 

Sec re tar)': 
Cindy Watter, 

www. LewisCar ro 

On the Front Cover: 

This remarkable digital photomontage is © 2004 Helena de Barros. 

See article on p. 39. 




A Cultural Critique of Miles Franklin 's "Tea with Alice" 

with a Neiu Afterword 

Sanjay Sircar 


A Boston Tea Party 

Mark Burstein 


Mr Dodgson and the Royal Family, Part II 

Edward Wakeling 


The Capture of the Snark 

E. Fuller Torrey, MD, and Judy Miller 


Twenty-First-Century Vieivs of Dodgson 's Voting Method 

Francine F. Abeles 






In Memoriam: Kay Rossman, Yulii Danilov, 

Sir Peter Ustinov 




Alan Tannenbaum 




Ghiuselev 's Alice-trations 
There's Something About Mary 

He Will Brook No Nonsense 
Sarah Adams 

Elementary, My Dear Dodgson 
Sarah Adams 

Masterpiece Theater 
Daniel Singer 

Golden Keys and Silver Locks 
Ruth Berman 

Viva Vivaldi 
Sarah Adams 

Mrs. Carroll's Alice 
Robert Arnold Hall 

Chasing the White Rabbit 
Sarah Adams 

Gregory Williams 


Addenda, Errata, Corrigenda, &" Illuminata 

Sic, Sic, Sic 

Fairest Helena 

Lights! Camera! Auction! 

The Library of Babel 

Ready, Willing and ABELL 

Sarah Adams 

All in the Golden Afternoon 

French and Music 
Armelle V. Futterman 



Books — Articles — Cyberspace — Conferences 

and Lectures — Exh ibitions — Performances 

Noted — Auctions — Media — Things 


The mome rath hasn 't been born that can outgrabe me. 
~ James Thurber 

Mh, spring in the air ... (and why you should), as Walt Kelly put it. We're in the midst 
of a lovely season out here in Outland — as Peter Heath termed California — and I 
hope some of that verdant promise exudes from this issue. 

Under the "Rectory Umbrella," we begin with two tea parties: an account of an after- 
noon with Alice Hargreaves in 1932 written by the Australian author of My Brilliant Career, 
Miles Franklin, with an "introduction and cultural critique" and a new afterword by fellow- 
Australian Sanjay Sircar; and a report on our lively Society meeting at Harvard. Following 
those is the continuation of "Mr. Dodgson and the Royal Family," in which Edward Wakeling 
explores Dodgson's connections with the next generation, the grandchildren of Queen Vic- 
toria, and how his royal associations may have informed his works. 

Theories on the sources of inspiration for Carroll's Hunting of the Snark have been prolif- 
erating of late. First there was a 2001 article by Pauline Hunter Blair in the (London) Times 
Literary Supplement positing that logs from the 1773 Arctic expedition undertaken by Com- 
modore Skeffington Lutwidge (uncle of Dodgson's beloved "Uncle Skeffington") may have 
had an influence {KL 66:21). Professor Morton Cohen sent a letter of rebuttal to the Times, 
citing Mavis Batey's suggestion that the Canterbury Pilgrims' 1850 expedition to New Zea- 
land might be a more likely source (reprinted in AT. 68:16). Now in this issue we are pleased 
to present Torrey and Miller's speculations regarding Uncle Skeffington 's Lunacy Commis- 
sion. As Professor Cohen put it in his letter, "Sources and influences are elusive birds, seldom 
amenable to capture." 

The prolific Dr. Francine F. Abeles next discusses "Dodgson's Voting Method" in the 
context of current theory and the political landscape. 

Our contributors, other than those credited in bylines, include: Joel Birenbaum, Ruth 
Berman, Llisa Demetrios Burstein, Sandor Burstein, David Calkins, Angelica Carpenter, Mor- 
ton Cohen, August Imholtz, Clare Imholtz, Janet Jurist, Devra Kunin, Lucille Posner, Mark 
Richards, Andrew Sellon, Alan Tannenbaum, Alison Tannenbaum, Edward Wakeling, the 
Watter family (Cindy, Charlotte, Nick, and Neil), and Germaine Weaver. And the esteemed 
editor of the "Rectory Umbrella," Matt Demakos, needless to say. 

My congratulations and appreciation to Andrew Ogus, designer extraordinaire, on this 
issue. I also wish to acknowledge the fine job our new printers, Napa Printing and Graphics, 
have been doing. 

As this issue features a cover by a Brazilian graphic artist, perhaps it is time to think of 
ourselves more properly as the Lewis Carroll Society of the Americas. Come to think of it, Rio 
de Janeiro seems like a splendid place for a future meeting. Such quantities of sand . . . 

Mark Burstein 


A Cultural Critique of Miles Franklin's 
"Tea with Alice" 

with a New Afterword 



■^^^^^^ piece on Lewis Carroll's birth centenary exhibi- 
^^^^ tion of 1932 organized by the London booksell- 
M^ m.ers J. and E. Bumpus, "Tea with Alice of Alice 

in Wonderland' (1932) by Miles Franklin, author of the 
Australian classic My Brilliant Career (1901), lends itself to 
a critique of once prevalent, perhaps still-existing adult 
attitudes toward children and their literature. An exami- 
nation of her essay enables us to focus on the production, 
commercial dissemination, reception, and institution- 
alization of literature specifically for children. Produc- 
tion and reception take place in a particular cultural or 
ethnographical context (such as colonialism) and within 
a capitalist class society (sometimes marked by snobbery, 
deference, commodity fetishism, and commodification). 
In this larger context, children's literature can manifest 

Reprinted, with permission, from Children's Literature 22 (1994), ed. 
Francelia Butler et al. (Yale University Press, © 1994 HoUins C'.ollege). 
Dr. Sircar's essay has been slightly altered in this reprint. 

Franklin's essay first appeared in All About Books for Australian and New 
Zealand Readers A, no. 12 (December 3, 1932): 199, and is reproduced 
by permission of the Trust Company, Melbourne, Australia. 

The footnotes within Miles Franklin's "Tea with Alice" are by editor 
Matthew Demakos. The afterword is entirely new material. 

reverence for the good old days and for child- 
hood, it can engender games in which adults 
take the roles of children and characters from 
juvenile fiction, and it can foster mythmaking in 
regard to children's classics generally. 

Tea with Alice of Alice in Wonderland 

Miles Franklin 

How many millions must have wished that they 
could have tea with AUce and the Mad Hatter! 

So it scarcely seemed real when I found 
myself actually seated at the same table as the 
one and only AUce herself. But so it was in the 
wonderland of London, in that particularly 
seductive establishment, the ancient and 
honourable book store of Messrs. J. and E. 
Bumpus, on Oxford street, where Royalty shop. 
It all happened so simply.^ Certain people had 
the pleasure of their company being requested 
at the Old Courthouse for the private opening 
of the Lewis CarroU Centenary Exhibition. The 
card of invitation was about eight inches square, 
and decorated with Alice, the Cheshire Cat, 
Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Duchess, and 



Other quaint immortal entities.^ Mr. J. G. Wilson, the 
head of Bumpus's, is celebrated for his organisation 
of imique and delightful occasions, and in this one was 
conspicuously successful. Those who arrived before 
the rooms grew too full gained a comprehensive 
idea of the extensive character and methodical 
arrangement of the exhibition. Here is all of Carroll, 
as testified by Mr. Falconer Madan's scholarly 
catalogue of 116 pages. Here is everything from 
cheapest reprints, parodies, card games, translations, 
dramatisations, biscuit tins, up to choicely printed 
volumes bound in 
veUum: and those 
even more cosdy 
freak volumes be- 
loved of collectors 
for a spurious rar- 
ity, for which, as 
a would-be living 
author, I have lively 
contempt. They are 
too often the prizes 
of the maleficendy 
wealthy in a snobbish 
sport, the toys of 
those who, perhaps, 
lack discernment, 
generosity or courage 
to recognise and 
aid writers in their 
arduous beginnings. 

There were endless genuine treasures lent by nearly 
a hundred owners; journals, letters, photographs, 
paintings; original drawings by Tenniel, Furness, and 
others; and, sent by Messrs Macmillan, the 42 original 
wood blocks'* for Tenniel's illustrations of "Alice 
in Wonderland."^ One bay was full of a large and 
remarkable collection of Carrolliana sent across the 
Adantic by its American owner. Everything imaginable 
was there, superbly arranged. 

But the guests very quickly obscured the exhibits, 
and the speaking began. The Patroness, H.R.H. 
Princess Beatrice, was unable to be present, because 
of an operation on her eye. The chairman, the Very 
Rev. the Dean of Christ Church (Dr. H. J. White), 
said that the very same verger who had shown him to 
his seat when he first entered Christ Chiu-ch was still 
alive, and had recentiy tumbled downstairs without 
hurting the stairs or himself, though he was 92. He 
also related how, as an undergraduate in his first 
term, he had met Mr. Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), as 
mathematical tutor, and was sorry to say that he did 
not come up to standard in his Euclid. After a severe 
interview, Mr. Dodgson said that Mr. White must 
attend his lectures. He said that the undergraduates 
dreaded Mr. Dodgson, and in his own case this fear 

'"' USWlh CAREOIX ^'< 

lYie Old Conr\ I louse 
J.^OOxfotxi Street WL 

The invitation. See footnote 2. 

had resulted in concentrated effort. He concluded by 
saying that to Lewis Carroll had been given the almost 
unique gift of making more children laugh than 
anyone else in the world; that himdreds of thousands 
of children had laughed at his jokes, and not one had 
ever blushed; and he did not think that any man could 
have a finer epitaph than the acknowledgment that he 
was one of the most amusing and purest souls in the 

Mrs. Hargreaves (the original Alice), in declaring 
the exhibition open, described herself as a very old 

person who tired 
easily, but who 
remembered the 
days when she was 
one of a number of 
litde girls, rimning 
about in cotton 
frocks, who knew 
Mr. Dodgson before 
the name of Lewis 
Carroll had been 

Sir Gerald du 
Maurier recalled 
the friendly assoc- 
iation between his 
father, the celeb- 
rated "Punch" 
artist, and Lewis 
CarroU, and told a 
new story about Mr. Wills, the great tobacco man, 
calling at the du Maurier home at Hampstead, one 
day, when Lewis Carroll was also there. In those 
days it was not permissible to mention in a man's 
presence his business, or the source from which he 
drew his money, and when du Maurier was about to 
take his visitors to see the view from the Heath, he 
was warned against any mention of tobacco. But no 
sooner was the famous spot reached from which on 
clear days portions of eight counties are visible, than 
du Maurier remarked: "Here is the most wonderful 
bird's eye view — oh! I beg your pardon."^ 

Mr. J. C. Squire, a London reviewer and essayist, 
referred to the long list of notable well-wishers of the 
exhibition, as the most extraordinary menagerie of 
people, who could have been collected by no other 
interest excepting Lewis Carroll, and finished some 
topical remarks by an entertaining rhyme in honor of 

The company were then released to tea, and saw 
such quantities of sandwiches and cakes, including 
Lewis Carroll's favourite goodies, rock cakes and 
ginger snaps,® that the greediest might have shed 
a bitter tear'^ if compelled to make any noticeable 
inroads in such abiuidance. 

The venturesome seized the chau"s, the throng 
milled around, hiding the exhibits, till one lost 
sight of all but outstanding things placed high, such 
as the lovely Herkomer portrait of the gentle grey- 
haired Lewis Carroll (specially lent by the original's 
old coUege), the amiable, substantial, respectable, 
convincing Dodo, or Quentin Matsys' portrait of the 
pathetically, tragically, inhumanly ugly litde Duchess 
of Carinthia and Tyrol, recentiy resuscitated as 
the eponymous heroine of Feuchtwanger's "Ugly 

The waitresses were desirous of getting some of 
the people out of the way, but who could be hurried 
when Ahce herself was coming to tea! I sought an 
inconspicuous corner for the part of invisible and 
inconsequent Dormouse, while among those present, 
distinguished in the world of printing presses today, 
to take the larger parts of Mad Hatters and March 
Hares, Red and White Queens, Duchesses, Knights, 
or Jabberwock, Carpenter, Walrus, and Gryphon for 
a frabj[o]us, scrumptious meal, were Lady Dickens, 
Mr. and Mrs. St. John Ervine, Mr. and Mrs. J. B. 
Priesdy, Capt. Hargreaves, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth 
Grahame, Lady Bridgeman, Lady Buxton, the Greek 
Minister, Miss Horniman, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard 
Huxley, the Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Sir 
Fredk. and Lady Liddell,^^ Mr. E. V. Lucas, Mr. and 
Mrs. Walter de la Mare, the Master of the Temple, the 
Provost of Worcester College, Lady Redesdale,^^ Miss 
Hilda Trevelyan, Miss Irene Vanbrugh, Mr. Henry W. 
Nevinson, Sir Ernest and Lady Benn, Sir Victor and 
Lady GoUancz.^"* 

But the most consequential were of no 
consequence compared with Alice herself, attended 
by the original of Peter Pan (Mr. Peter Davies), 
carrying red roses (sent her by a lady of 90 who had 
known her as a litde girl in the Deanery), who came, 
and, as it should have been in a fairly [sic] tale, sat 
down at the table of the infinitesimal Dormouse. 
There she was just across the table from me. Alice at 
eighty, looking not more than 60 or 55, with her fair 
skin, to which her native climate has been so kind, 
Ahce to-day still so winning that the most matter-of- 
fact could realise that in this gracious lady, when a 
child, the greatest of all writers for children had a 
matchless inspiration and model. 

"Tea with Alice" appeared in the December 3, 1932, 
issue of All About Books for Australian and New Zealand 
Readers, a literary magazine published in Melbourne 
by D. W. Thorpe. A mishmash of articles, long and 
short reviews, and unpretentious bits and pieces of 
literary gossip, this issue includes such articles as 
"Mr. Galsworthy, Culture and Australia," "Present- 
Day Poetry," "Some Literary Families," "This Year's 
Australian Books" (including one by Franklin), "Sir 

Walter Scott," "New Novels and Christmas Books," 
along with "The Use of Books for Your Children" by 
the novelist Storm Jameson, "Children's Books and 
Libraries," "The Bookless House" by Arthur Mee of 
the Children's Encyclopaedia, and "Books for Children." 
We note immediately the cultural and commercial 
significance of so much on children's literature at 

The tone of "Tea" does not accord with Frank- 
lin's own dismissive attitude toward children's books 
(even though she wrote an extremely peculiar one 
herself: Sydney Royal, 1947),^^ expressed by her alter- 
ego heroine in My Career Goes Bung (1946): "Gad 
collected children's books which seemed to me a 
peculiar hobby for an old bachelor. He read from 
them. I never had any children's books. Ma thought 
them trash and I don't believe that Pa ever heard of 
them."^*^ Thus "Tea" is either a genuine acknowledg- 
ment of an exceptional work (not "merely" for chil- 
dren) or a journalistic playing along with (and thus 
a reinforcement of) the mystique of a children's clas- 
sic. As it stands, "Tea" is competent journalism and 
follows a simple pattern. Franklin recounts receiving 
the invitation to the centenary exhibition, lists the ex- 
hibits, summarizes the speeches by H.J. WTiite, Alice 
Liddell Hargreaves, Gerald du Maurier, and J. C. 
Squire to represent aspects of Carroll (Oxford, chil- 
dren, the stage, humor), and describes the throng, 
the tea, and the final thrill of sitting across the table 
from the original Alice. 

Although Franklin was a fierce nationalist who 
consistently repudiated charges of Australian cultural 
inferiority, the tone of "Tea" is very much that of the 
country-cousin colonial telling those at home in Aus- 
tralia what she has seen at "home" in England. This is 
most immediately apparent in the sunburnt-colonial 
view of Alice Liddell Hargreaves, "with her fair skin, 
to which her native climate has been so kind." Frank- 
lin was one of those who attempted to forge a sense 
of and pride in an independent Australian identity, 
but this identity was often defined in terms of inherit- 
ing, revering, and treasuring what was presented as 
the best from the Mother Country. Notions of beauty 
were among these, and likewise received opinions 
about the classics. 

Franklin was also stridently egalitarian, yet "Tea" 
is permeated with snobbery about the establishment, 
both in Franklin's choice of words and metaphors 
and in what they tell of the proceedings. The snob- 
bery is imperfectly hidden by the facetious inflation 
of the description of the venue as that "particularly 
seductive establishment, the ancient and honourable 
book store of Messrs. J. and E. Bumpus, on Oxford 
street, where Royalty shop." It comes through clearly 
in the News-of-the-Worldish noting of the absence of 
the "Patroness, H.R.H. Princess Beatrice" because 

of an eye operation, in Squire's reference to the as- 
sembly of "notable well-wishers," and in Franklin's 
list of people "distinguished in the world of print- 
ing presses today," four of whom are delineated by 
educational and diplomatic position rather than by 
name. The faux-naif simplicity of "It all happened so 
simply. Certain people had the pleasure of their com- 
pany being requested at the Lewis Carroll Centenary 
Exhibition" seems purposefully to convey a snobbish 
hint that invitations were scarce and that strings had 
been pulled, for it virtually begs the reader to wonder 
how Franklin wangled an invitation and what sort 
of people were selected to attend. Her stated unim- 
portance, as one receiving an unexpected privilege, 
blurs with her implied importance, as one of those 
certain people. Clearly it was enjoyable to be at the 
"private opening," and a whole crowd qualified for 

The emphasis on the grand people present is 
of a piece with the hyperbolic emphasis on things. 
These are both "extensive" and "large and remark- 
able"; they include "all of Carroll," even "Everything 
imaginable." They are "genuine treasures," "specially 
lent" and "superbly arranged." hiterestingly, Franklin 
stresses that the valuable originals are present: Ten- 
niel's woodblocks, the painting of the Ugly Duchess. 
And the same imagery extends to people — the "one 
and only Alice herself," "the original Alice," accompa- 
nied by "the original of Peter Pan"; even Dodgson is 
the Carroll whom Alice knew before he was Carroll, 
"before the name ... had been invented." The figure 
of Carroll himself is the center of commodification 
and investment with mystique, processes which oper- 
ate with both people and objects. So we have present 
in the original "the lovely Herkomer portrait" of 
Lewis Carroll from "the original's old college," and 
we have Carroll as the original "amiable, substantial, 
respectable, convincing Dodo." The power of the 
word substantial spreads from the real man to the Ac- 
tive Dodo. The portrait is an original object; the man 
is the original of the author, of the portrait, of the 
Active character. The value of man and portrait alike 
is underpinned in their being originals. 

Just as a hierarchy extends from the milling, 
crushing crowd up to the dignitaries, so does one 
extend "from cheapest reprints, parodies, card 
games, translations, dramatisations, biscuit tins, up 
to choicely printed volumes bound in vellum" — an 
echo of Lear's alphabet? '^ The things that can be 
produced and sold cheaply in quantity rank lower 
than the expensive, scarce ones. The latter give grace 
to the former by their juxtaposition on the list and in 
the exhibition, just as the crowd was presumably edi- 
fied and elevated by rubbing elbows with and dupli- 
cating the actions of the dignitaries in their company. 
Alice partakes of grace by association with the origi- 

nal man, and Franklin gains grace by contiguity with 
her. But after mentioning volumes bound in vellum, 
Franklin, in a different, more personal voice, briefly 
queries the snobbery relating to valuable things and 
notable people. She notes "those even more costly 
freak volumes beloved of collectors for a spurious 
rarity, for which, as a would-be living author, I have 
lively contempt. They are too often the prizes of the 
maleficently wealthy in a snobbish sport, the toys of 
those who, perhaps, lack discernment, generosity or 
courage to recognise and aid writers in their arduous 
beginnings." Here is a blow for live people against 
dead things, a touch of what people in the 1930s 
called socialist red-ragging, a valuing of access to 
culture (Franklin welcomed the advent of the paper- 
back), and perhaps, too, the envy of one who lacks 
and wishes for a patron. 

Linked by safety and security to the stress on 
snobbery, hierarchy, commodity, and the original ob- 
ject in "Tea" is the stress on the old, often in conjunc- 
tion with the very young. We have the ancient and 
honorable bookstore that sells children's books; "the 
Old Courthouse"; Alice, "a very old person who tired 
easily, but who remembered the days when she was 
one of a number of little girls, running about"; the 
"old college" of "grey-haired Lewis Carroll" (who was 
gray-haired neither at his birth, which the celebra- 
tions commemorated, nor at the birth of Alice) ; the 
"resuscitated" Ugly Duchess; the red roses (emblem 
of youth) sent by the old lady of ninety who had 
known Alice as a little girl in the Deanery. Hence, 
too, the opening of the first address by the Very Rev- 
erend the Dean of Christ Church Dr. H.J. White, who 
recalls his youth when "undergraduates dreaded Mr. 
Dodgson," when he had a "severe interview," when 
"fear resulted in concentrated effort," and then cites 
the many "children [who] had laughed at [Carroll's] 
jokes." His opening comment about the ninety-two- 
year-old verger tumbling downstairs unhurt is uncon- 
nected to Carroll, except as a reference to Old Father 
William (whom Franklin does not mention), and 
reveals the group nostalgia for and worship of old 
age, both of individuals and eras. Three of the four 
speakers. White, Hargreaves, and du Maurier, recall 
the vanished period; indeed, du Maurier's anecdote 
about an occasion when Carroll was merely present 
serves solely as a genial evocation of a vanished time 
and its snobbery (the bird's-eye tobacco). 

Hovering about the worship of old people and 
the Victorian past is a desire for safety and, beyond 
that, immortality. The old verger is an icon of im- 
mortality. "Alice, the Cheshire Cat, Tweedledum and 
Tweedledee, the Duchess" on the invitation card are 
not "quaint immortal entities" merely because they 
are fictions but also because they are quaint (child- 
ish, old-fashioned, odd — see the Oxford English Die- 

tionary) and because they are images of children, that 
category of the not-quite-adult human including the 
dwarf, the animal, and the representational object 
(cards and chess pieces). Wonderland and Looking- 
Glass figures, in being neither adult nor human, are 
child images (by overpowering which the child-pro- 
tagonist Alice grows closer to adulthood) and images 
of immortality, being semi-supernatural. So is Quinten 
Massys's "pathetically, tragically, inhumanly ugly litde 
Duchess," immortalized by him in a painting that is 
today said to be after Massys; identified without evi- 
dence as the real Duchess of Carinthia and Tyrol, it 
is possibly not even a portrait at all but a study in the 
grotesque. The Duchess was further fictionalized in 
Lion Feuchtwanger's Die hdjiliche Herzogin Margaretha 
Maultasch}^ Both the 
painter and the es- 
sayist render her as 
a thing, and she is 
inscribed as an icon of 
both adult and child 
by the sentimentality 
of Franklin's diction. 

The desire for the 
stable order, the thing, 
the original, the old, 
the past, produces an 
oxymoron in the mix- 
ture, odd at first sight, 
of old age and youth 
in the nostalgic image 
of the old safe time 
of childhood. Actual 

children are absent (or at any rate unmentioned) in 
the celebrations, but images of them are present — in 
the wealthy with their rare toys, in the remembered 
little girls in the cotton frocks, in the reference to the 
hundreds of thousands of child readers laughing at 
Carroll's jokes, in the children of Dickens and the 
Liddell-Hargreaves families. Indeed, the celebrations 
and the article remind us that Alice Pleasance Lid- 
dell was once both the child inspiration and the child 
audience for Alice (although the child Peter Davies 
was not quite the original of Peter Pan but more a 
member of an original audience). Pretending not to 
know the difference between a fictive child and a real 
one who inspired or listened to the first oral version 
or versions of a text may be silly, but it is salutary. 
The conceit reminds us that much children's litera- 
ture does indeed emerge from interactions between 
real-life children and adults and that the interactions 
often move from game playing and role-playing to 

The most interesting thing about "Tea" is that it 
manifests group regression to a past life-period. We 
see regression in the pervasive, affectedly childish 

From the (London) Times, June 29, 1932. 

sweetness, or preciousness, that quality called twee 
(like but not quite the same as the American cute). 
We see regression in the two similar role-games of the 
essayist as child and the essayist as Wonderland char- 
acter (and child) playing the game of "let's pretend 
we're pretending." Both exemplify the older but still 
undead tweeness in talk about children's literature. 
This abrogation of adulthood in what seems affected 
wonder and playfulness is called the Poohsticks mental- 
ity, after those A. A. Milne aficionados who celebrate 
notable occasions in his life by playing Poohsticks as 
the climax to pilgrimages to the original places where 
the Pooh stories were told and which they mention. 

I suspect that rather than genuine nostalgia-re- 
gression, Franklin's textual mediation as a child or 

childish persona, 
with her own equiv- 
alent of the wide 
"dreaming eyes of 
wonder," involves 
for her at least half- 
conscious role-play- 
ing. Minxish, gush- 
ing faux-naivete is 
characteristic of the 
emphatically incon- 
spicuous first-per- 
son alter-ego pro- 
tagonists of her 
work all through 
her career. After 
the first paragraph, 
"How many millions 
must have wished that they could have tea with Alice 
and the Mad Hatter!" Franklin tells us how the wish 
was granted in her case in a winner-of-the-Disney-con- 
test, dream-come-true, queen-for-a-day tone. "Tea" 
begins and ends with how "it scarcely seemed real 
when I found myself actually seated at the same table 
as the one and only Alice herself." "It all happened 
so simply" comes in the voice of wonder at entering a 
fairy tale and is kept up all through, in, for example, 
the use of a childish register with "goodies" to express 
delight in the feast-abundance. It peaks with the 
meaning, rather than the diction, of the childish, 
worshiping superlatives of the last paragraph, where 
Franklin writes of the "matchless inspiration" for the 
"greatest of all writers," who, "as it should have been 
in a fairy tale, sat down at the table.... There she was 
just across the table from me." Franklin apparently 
sat speechless, goggle-eyed at Alice's proximity. The 
line between children and adults also disappears in 
White's odd slippage between the two categories of 
child innocence and adult knowledge. "Hundreds 
of thousands of children had laughed at [Carroll's] 
jokes, and not one had ever blushed" indicates some 

confusion between the children, who would not blush 
at what they failed in their innocence to understand, 
and their book-selecting guardians, who would be the 
ones to undertake any blushing on their behalf. 

The simple wonder of the child entering the fairy 
tale is allied to the strand of imagery of the second 
game, dual-sourced, in Franklin's mind and that of 
the company: playing at Wonderland. It begins with 
the decorated invitation "about eight inches square," 
larger than an ordinary one, probably meant to re- 
call the one handed to the Frog Footman. Franklin's 
own Wonderland/Looking-Glass imagery is initiated 
when she opens "Tea" with the child's wishful fantasy 
of entering the world of the book, goes on to conflate 
the person with the Active character in the metaphor 
of the "one and only Alice," and extends the confla- 
tion to real and fictive space with the phrase "won- 
derland of London." Then Squire archly calls the 
assemblage "the most extraordinary menagerie of 
people, who could have been collected by no other 
interest excepting Lewis Carroll." The heterogeneous 
Wonderland/Looking-Glass animals are metaphori- 
cally children, and so are the adults here assimilated 
to them. 

The adult-regression game is both Franklin's 
and Squire's; maybe it is shared by all present. 
Franklin describes the "let's pretend" game with 
CarroUian or childish diction, or a combination 
thereof: the "greediest might have shed a bitter tear" 
at the "frabj[o]us, scrumptious meal," at which are 
offered the rock cakes and gingersnaps that were 
Carroll's favorite goodies (is this actually recorded 
anywhere?). Franklin then enacts the "let's pretend" 
game by putting herself in the role of "infinitesimal," 
"invisible and inconsequent Dormouse": "I sought an 
inconspicuous corner for the part of ... Dormouse, 
while among those present, distinguished ... to take 
the part of Mad Hatters and March Hares, Red and 
White Queens, Duchesses, Knights or Jabberwock, 
Carpenter, Walrus, and Gryphon" were the list of 
solid notables. This sentence conjoins the worlds of 
whimsy to solidity and itself enacts the movement 
between them. The division in the sentence between 
plural and singular roles both suggests that fictive 
roles can be duplicated in the game of enacting them 
and replicates the stress on the unique original. 

The temper of the times and its notion of child- 
hood, the Victorian inheritance, comes through 
clearly in White's image of Carroll as "one of the most 
amusing and purest souls in the world." Franklin 
takes her cue from White in her own image of the 
"gentle grey-haired Lewis Carroll ... the amiable, sub- 
stantial, respectable, convincing Dodo" — why con- 
vincing? It is all very endearing, though it could not 
always have been so in real life. Franklin's account of 
Alice Liddell Hargreaves is even more obviously an 

exercise in mythmaking. Franklin evokes the rever- 
ent worshipers — "who could be hurried when Alice 
herself was coming to tea?" — and the converts, "the 
most matter-of-fact [who] could realise" her power. 
Alice is not only unique, "the one and only," "her- 
self," but also the ageless immortal, the fairy simul- 
taneously old and young (like George MacDonald's 
or Charles Kingsley's anima figures): "Alice at eighty, 
looking not more than 60 or 55," the lady in whom 
can be seen her lineaments "when a child." She is 
the muse — "matchless inspiration and model" — and 
she is the perfect lady, "Alice to-day still so winning 
... this gracious lady." Alice's opening speech is the 
least interesting of all the addresses, and she does 
not say anything recordable to her worshiper. Her 
power is that of perfect femininity, the silent child, 
the silent woman. She is the daughter figure — the 
cotton-frocked daughter of the pure man, the mem- 
ory of whose birth she celebrates. She is the mother 
figure — mother of children (Captain Hargreaves is 
present) and figurative mother, who brings to birth 
and inhabits the literary work. She is the "very old 
person." And all on one page. 

Miles Franklin's "Tea with Alice," which surfaced 
serendipitously, reminds us that ephemeral accounts 
of events such as the Carroll centenary celebration 
can be of value to people interested in children's 
literature and the institutionalization of the classics. 
Its naivete, by rendering a cultural celebration trans- 
parent, reminds us, too, that the selective tradition 
in literature — whereby certain works and authors are 
hailed and admitted to the canon, allowed to have ad- 
miring readers and to bear close scrutiny — operates 
within children's literature. A cultural celebration 
like an exhibition is one of the processes of selection 
and institutionalization. But the exhibition in 1932 
did not set out to celebrate a book or books, but their 
originary point, the author; the order of priority is 

Squire playfully replicates Carroll's role of humor- 
ous rhymester when he pays tribute to the Alice books 
in verse, but "Tea" also shows us that the occasion ac- 
tually focuses on neither the work nor the person but 
celebrates objects (though it would be claimed that 
the person was being celebrated through the objects 
that he inspired). We see, although Franklin does 
not, that the celebration is an exercise in selling. Her 
host Mr. Wilson, "celebrated for his organization of 
unique and delightful occasions," of which this is one, 
is a bookseller, the head of Bumpus, who is organiz- 
ing the event to publicize his shop and other wares, 
like Falconer Madan's Catalogue}'^ We also see that 
the celebration is socially biased, exclusive, hymning 
but not including children. The "guests very quickly 
obscured the exhibits, and the speaking began," and 
"the throng milled around, hiding the exhibits, till 

one lost sight of all but outstanding things." We may, 
if we wish, read the scene as an allegory. The people 
hide the things. The things, some of them money- 
making spin-offs that use Alice moiih (the card games 
and biscuit tins and dramatizations), hide the Alice 
books and their pleasures. The inessential detritus 
of snobbery and nostalgia hide the possibility that 
something is being sold and that that something is 
neither the pleasure nor the appreciation of Alice's 
Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking- 
Glass. But celebrations of culturally significant work 
and commemorations of culturally significant people 
do not have to be exhibitions of things nor occasions 
to gush. To me, a reading of "Tea with Alice" suggests 
that non-condescending scholarship, criticism, and 
the cultural study of children's literature are ulti- 
mately worth more than huge galas attended by the 
glitterati of the day. 


The text of my original commentary appears above, 
silently correcting a few words and adding a few foot- 
note-citations (with footnote numbering amended to 
take into account the additional footnotes to Frank- 
lin's text itself). It omits only my query about whether 
J. C. Squire's verses are still extant, something which 
Matt Demakos' notes now clear up. As far as I can tell, 
the reprint of Franklin's piece with my commentary 
was not noted in Jill Roe and Margaret Bettison's 
work on Franklin's journalism. ^^ 

When this article was first printed, Barbara Wall, 
a scholar in children's literature, said to me that 
Franklin's piece gave her the clear impression that 
she knew nothing and cared nothing about Carroll or 
the Alicehooks. Franklin's account of her early years, 
Childhood at Brindabella,^^ actually says that literary 
material for children (including fairy tales) played 
but a small part in her childhood, and perhaps she 
was indeed simply "playing along" with the tone of 
the Carroll celebrations because that was what was 
expected of her, and the only sort of thing that would 
have seen the light of print at the time. However, it is 
worth noting that just as fairytale revisioning seems to 
play a large part in Franklin's oeuvre,^^ the introduc- 
tory verses to My Career Goes Bung, which exist in two 
forms (a draft form as well as the published version), 
are in the same meter as Carroll's "They told me you 
had been to her," with pronouns used to a somewhat 
similar puzzling effect, and so, to me, suggest the de- 
liberate modeling on and/or parody of Carroll. Bung 
was first drafted about 1902 and possibly redrafted in 
the 1930s before its publication in the next decade, 
so depending on when the putative 1930s redraft- 
ing occurred and when the prefatory verses were 
composed, Franklin's involvement with the Carroll 
centenary might have had something to do with these 

I have given my life to the study of children's 
literature, so cannot be accused of condescension 
towards it. But I have always felt uneasy about certain 
things regarding the "construction" of the image 
of children's literature in general, which this 1930s 
celebration of Carroll, and Franklin's account of it, 
brought into focus for me. I mentioned Franklin's 
strident Australian cultural and social nationalism 
(this, and its contradictions, are one of the themes of 
Bung, an autobiographical novel drafted just after her 
first novel) and her Australian egalitarianism (a note 
pronounced from her first novel, the autobiographi- 
cal My Brilliant Career,^^ onwards, though in both 
novels the heroine is careful to stress how well-born 
she is). 1 said that these features do not accord with 
Franklin's description of Alice Hargreaves and the 
snobbery in the list of notables. Now, the Times ac- 
count of the celebrations, which Matt Demakos draws 
upon (see endnote 14), reminds us that both Franklin 
and the Times do the same thing, in mentioning some 
of the notables by position rather than by name, and 
indeed Squire does too. This feature led me to think 
that it might be worth spelling out that when cultural, 
social — or, for that matter, intellectual — notables give 
their imprimatur to a literary work, that imprimatur 
may help to get its merit recognized and the work 
sold, but is irrelevant to that merit itself, if it exists, 
whether or not it is recognized by the tastes of the 
time, be they of the market or the academy. It is the 
work that primarily matters, not the weighty people 
who read it (nor its author, if it comes to that). 

Nowhere in Franklin's piece, or the celebrations 
themselves, are the "literary merits" of Carroll's work 
addressed. (Matt Demakos tells me in this regard 
that possibly the sole recorded animadversion on the 
merit of the Alice books is in the couplets of Squire's 
verses which read: 

For more and more, when one's full-grown 

One finds in Lewis Carroll's works 
A deeper, healthier meaning lurks; 

For sometimes in the dead of night. 
When mind's alert and moon shines bright. 

And no wind blows, and no tree stirs 
The terrifying thought occurs 

That haply all the world's affairs 
Are run by Dormice or March Hares 

And Carroll wrote, and not in mirth 
A straight description of the Earth. 

Though Franklin does not directly name Carroll's 
work as "beloved," these celebrations and her account 
seem to me to take for granted this work as "beloved 
by all," with a love/reverence extending to the "origi- 
nal" Alice Liddell and Co., and thus requiring no 
analysis of its merits (something a little different from 
the annotation that was a part of the celebrations and 
noted in Franklin's piece). This impulse to take for 

granted non-mainstream work, ("for women and chil- 
dren" in particular) as "beloved" work, an impulse 
nowadays sometimes mediated though the notion of 
the "paracanon" in reference to such work as Little 
Women, strikes me as a troublesome one. A work being 
beloved does not preclude it also being good (being 
"art"), and stating a love for a work by a community 
of non-academic readers does perhaps provide a way 
into granting it a place for serious discussion. But a 
beloved/paracanonical work may or may not have 
"literary merit" (however that merit is defined). So 
it is likely in the hierarchical world in which we live 
that the results of either taking for granted or focus- 
ing on the love will result in an ultimate stamp of 
marginalization upon the work, ending up in it being 
covertly assumed that a beloved/paracanonical work 
may indeed have "appeal," but usually wof whatever 
literary merit is thought to be. In latter years, after 
World War II, Carroll's work itself has attracted much 
discussion from the mainstream high academic cul- 
ture (including linguists and philosophers as well 
as scholars and critics). Hence, the literary merit of 
these particular works of children's literature is prob- 
ably firmly established — though another result of this 
attention could also be the would-be compliments 
and actual insults that Carroll's work, a special case, is 
either "really" for adults, or "at least today, really for 
adults." Indeed, it sometimes seems to me that Car- 
roll's work is the focus of a token nod to children's 
literature by the mainstream, in acknowledgment of 
the margins (by high culture in acknowledgment of 
the worth of either middlebrow or popular culture), 
rather than a more general acceptance that literary 
merit of different sorts can inhere alike in works less 
or more simple, less or more popular, and directed 
at any audience. (And yes, I know about Harry Potter 
bringing work for children into the public eye.) So 
in general, the celebrations and Franklin's piece lead 
me to say that I feel that too much taking for granted 
(or assertion) of love for a work, without a balancing 
assertion of whatever its merits might be thought to 
be, is a dangerous thing to do in relation to works for 
children in particular (be these works old or new). 

As I said at the time, the celebrations and 
Franklin's piece also seem to indicate the trouble- 
some desire to steep tokenized classics for children 
in nostalgia, while they fetishize or glamorize the 
cultural capital of the past. I did not know that A. A. 
Milne was part of the committee for the exhibition. 
His inclusion indicates the deference of contempora- 
neous children's literature to earlier work, or perhaps 
even a continuity between one period of children's 
literature, the 1860s, and another, the 1920s (or, 
if you like, Alice Hargreaves and Peter Davies and 
Milne as standing for the beginning, middle, and end 
of the "golden age" of English children's literature. 

a notion, alas, now scoffed at as a cliche, at any rate 
by some Americans). But Milne's presence (like that 
of Peter Davies evoking the boy who did not want to 
grow up) is to me also emblematic of such nostalgia, 
conjuring up as it does the little boy who will always 
be playing somewhere in the wood, or he who will be 
six for ever and ever, whereas Alice, indeed, will grow 
up and tell children her story. 

Franklin's piece reminds us, probably despite it- 
self, that works of children's literature (like all litera- 
ture), are commodities that circulate in a commercial 
world, not merely in a world of those who love and 
study particular texts. One must be wary of all com- 
mercially-directed celebrations (or academic career- 
enhancing gatherings) that masquerade as some- 
thing more purely appreciative, and there is indeed a 
danger in being carried away by all gala celebrations 
that set out not so much to celebrate a worthy book, 
as they purport to do, but to sell things and make 
money for businesspeople, while drawing upon the 
weight of noteworthy institutions, places and people. 
My original draft had a paragraph that was omitted in 
the process of the editor's and referees' emendations 
and re-emendations, which related the relatively in- 
nocent 1930s celebrations and Franklin's piece and 
my reservations about both to a more contemporary 
celebration/exhibition, far more troublesome than 
the 1930s one, which also needs extended analysis 
and comment. Of course I know that one question- 
able celebration/exhibition does not vitiate all such 
events, and only mean to say that one need not rush 
into such things without reflecting on their said and 
unsaid motives and ends. 

At first, the "Alice 125" project, celebrating 125 
years oi Alice's Adventures in Wonderland m 1990 under 
the auspices of the self-styled "Carroll Foundation" 
based in Flemington, Victoria, Australia, seemed a 
worthy endeavor, and attracted the patronage of ev- 
eryone from Marcel Marceau (the "World Patron") 
to many distinguished Carrollians. Among its be- 
nevolent goals were the celebration of International 
Literacy Year by sponsoring translations to bring 
the total up to 125 languages, "the world's record" 
(why would translations of Alice be more worthwhile 
than original works in languages other than English, 
anyway?), and a touring exhibition of works by 125 
Australian artists on Alician themes, as well as books 
and other examples of the translations — to be seen in 
Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Adelaide through 
1991, and then 1 think possibly to go overseas (I am 
not sure) . At first, it seemed to go very well — the exhi- 
bition was a grand success, and a stunning catalogue 
was produced. The project drew upon the dignity of 
the University of Melbourne and its letterhead, it 
seems, and was assigned copyright by some artists for 
their new illustrations to Alice. Problems began to sur- 

face when artists and other lenders wished to recover 
their property, and the hired translators were look- 
ing for their promised payments. The Foundation 
quickly disappeared in a flurry of lawsuits. I had been 
in China, and quite innocently rang the Foundation 
in the early 1990s to inquire about what they did, and 
whether they would have a job for me. I left message 
after message on the telephone, and once actually 
got someone, a man who promised to send me an ac- 
count of what they did, and who acted very interested 
in who I was and my work in children's literature, but 
I received nothing (and I am still looking for that job 
in children's literature). Anyhow, since ephemera is 
by its very nature hard to trace, it is here worth re- 
cording for future generations that the State Library 
of South Australia holds the Foundation's flyer for 
the exhibition, which is imbued with something very 
like the "rhetoric of enthusiasm" that seems to have 
permeated the 1930s celebrations themselves and 
Franklin's text alike. There was also an Australian 
television program on the Foundation, a copy of 
which I forwarded to Dr. Sandor Burstein at the time, 
which is now held in his collection. 

Anyhow, Franklin's work, ideally read in con- 
junction with the Times dLCCOunt, Squire's pamphlet, 
and the catalogue, is a valuable addition to Carrol- 
liana, and will probably be useful when someone 
looks back in order to trace the changing nature 
of the reputation/reception of the Alice books. Let 
us hope that other such ephemeral items lie wait- 
ing to be found. For example, tracing the current 
holder of the folder of press clippings from 1936 on 
Paul Schilder's psychoanalytic reading of Alice, the 
folder which Dr. Lauretta Bender showed Dr. Phyllis 
Greenacre in the 1950s, and analyzing the contents, 
would be a good thing to do.^'* As a lone voice, let me 
add, however, my feeling that more important than 
these ephemeral items, in a world where studies in 
children's literature are not usually focused on look- 
ing for forgotten meritorious work from the past, is 
the necessit)' for Carrollians, who are at home in the 
area from 1862 (the fateful boat trip) to 1904 (when 
Edwin H. Dodgson published The Story of Sylvie and 
Bruno, an abridgement of the Sylvie doublet for chil- 
dren), to introduce the world to other meritorious 
Victorian works for children, by hands other than 
Carroll's — for example, it would be a good place 
to start if someone provided at least full notes and 
commentary on what such works (noted in his letters 
and diaries) as The Lost Plum-Cake actually are, and 
whether they are independently worth reading by us 
today (whether they are to hand for us or not).^^ 

' According to The Times, the event took place on June 28, 
1932, two months after Mrs. Alice Hargreaves' sailing for the 
Columbia University celebrations in New York City (where 
events were not so simple) and only five weeks after her 
return to England. "Lewis Carroll / Exhibition Opened by 
"Alice" / Recollection of Dean of Christ Church," The Times 
(London), June 29, 1932, 17 (all further references to The 
Times are to this article). Edward Wakeling, "Mrs. Hargreaves 
Comes to the U.S.A." Proceedings of The Second International 
l^eiois Carroll Conference, edited by Charlie Lovett (Winston- 
Salem, N.C.: Lewis Carroll Society of North America, 1994), 
45, 52. 

- The invitation, by Rex WTiistler, is reproduced in J. C. Squire, 
Speech at the Lewis Carroll Centenary Exhibition (London: J. and 
E. Bumpus, [1932]), [8]. Franklin mistook the Queen of 
Hearts for the Duchess. 

^ Alice might have looked at these woodblocks with the 
thought, "Curiouser and curiouser." Gordon writes: "After 
Dodgson's death in 1898, Alice wrote to Macmillans [sic] 
... asking to buy Tenniel's original wood-block illustrations. 
They told her, in a canny, if needless, untruth, that they 
had been 'inevitably destroyed' in the process of engraving. 
'What, then, shall I have as my legacy?' wrote Alice to Regi- 
nald." Colin Gordon, Beyond the Looking Class: Reflections of 
Alice and Her Family (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 
1982), 230-1. 

^ According to the Sotheby's 2001 auction catalog, "Alice Har- 
greaves lent her presentation copy of the facsimile edition 
o( Alice's Adventures Underground..., a photograph of herself 
and Eldridge R.Johnson... as well as groups of wooden and 
china figures..., and a copy of Our Trip to Blunderland...." 
The catalog called the 1932 exhibition "the first major ex- 
hibition of books, manuscripts, letter and photographs by 
Lewis Carroll to be mounted. The committee included Alice 
Hargreaves, Sir Leicester Harmsworth, Mrs Maud Ffooks, 
Major C. H. W. Dodgson, A. A. Milne, M [orris] L. Parrish, 
Falconer Madan, Sidney Williams and John G. Wilson...." 
Leivis Carroll's Alice: The Photographs, Books, Papers and Personal 
Effect of Alice Liddell and Her Family (London: Sotheby's, June 
6, 2001), s.v. [Lot] 146: "The Lewis Carroll Centenar\' in 
London... J & E. Bumpus Ltd., 1932. ..Signed "Alice P. Harg- 
reaves" on inside upper cover...", 206. 

-' Franklin seems to be paraphrasing quite accurately here, 
since the account of White's words in The Times is similar. 

** Again, Franklin is paraphrasing. The full account of Alice's 
speech in The Times runs: "Mrs. Hargreaves, who was pre- 
sented with a bouquet of roses sent to her by a lady, aged 90, 
who had played with her as a little girl at the Deanen, de- 
scribed herself as a ven,' old person who got tired ven.- easily, 
biu she recalled the days when as one of a number of small 
girls limning about in cotton frocks, she knew Mr. Dodgson, 
before the name Lewis Carroll had been invented." But it 
seems that Alice's statement is not quite accurate. On Febru- 
ary 11, 1856, Carroll sent to Edmund Yates, editor of The 
Train, a list of four pen names to replace his first choice of 
"Dares," and records the name "Lewis Carroll" as chosen 
on March 1 (the issue is dated March 1856). His first re- 
corded meeting with the Liddells was on February 25, but 
without Alice. Only on April 25, almost two months after 
the name appeared in print, does he first record meeting 
the three-year-old Alice, attempting photographs of her and 
her sisters, and marking the day with a white stone. Edward 
Wakeling, I.ewis Carroll's Diaries: The Private Journals of Charles 
Lutwidge Dodgson (Clifford, England: The Lewis Carroll Soci- 
ety, 1994),2:39, 43, 65. 

' The Times does not expand on Sir Cierald dii Maurier's 
speech. Du Maurier was son of George du Maurier, Punch 
artist, author of Trilby, and Peter Davies' maternal uncle. In 
1904, the younger du Maurier inaugurated the roles of Mr. 
Darling and Captain Hook in Peter Pan. "Bird's eye tobacco" 
is a kind of tobacco (like honeydew, cavendish, shag, etc.), 
and references to it in novels seem to indicate that it is 
strong and cheap. 
^ The Times does not expand on Mr. J. C. Squire's "neat and 
amusing verses..." either. The following extract is a good ex- 
ample of his style: "Till recently I thought Alice / Coeval 
with the Ciystal Palace, / Prince Albert and the Albert Hall, 
/ And not a real girl at all; / ... / I little dreamt I'd have the 
honour / Of ever setting eyes upon her, / Still less that fate 
would ever lump us / Together in the halls of Bumpus / . . . 
/ The catalogue details the lot / Mention the whole of them, 
I can nol\ / But yet (without the slightest malice) / The best 
exhibit still is Alice, / The girl who standing at life's portal, 
/ Induced a man to be immortal." The pamphlet mentions 
that Bertram James Collingwood (the yoimger brother of 
Stuart Dodgson), also presented a speech. Oddly, (Polling- 
wood's speech does not seem to be referred to in any other 
surviving item related to the occasion. Squire, Speech at the 
I^ewis Carroll Centenary, 2-3, 6. 
^ Isa Bowman wrote in The Story ofl^ewis Carroll (1899), "He 
always said I ate far too much, and he would never allow me 
more than one rock cake and a cup of tea." In "Alice's Rec- 
ollections of (]arrollian Days," Alice only mentions "a large 
basket full of cakes" and "all sorts of good things" besides 
the "cold chicken and salad." No source was found which 
named any other "favourite goodies," except for references 
to Carroll's habit of taking a biscuit at lunch. See Morton N. 
Cohen, Ijrwis Carroll: Interviews and Recollections (Iowa: Uni- 
versity of Iowa Press, 1989) 85, 99; for Carroll's biscuit eating, 
see, for example, Carroll to Mrs. W. Mallalieu, July 5, 1892, 
Morton Cohen, \vith the assistance of Roger Lancelyn Green, 
The Letters of Lewis Cairoll (New York: Oxford Universit)', 
1979), 914. 

"* In this sentence, Franklin refers to the fourth and fifth 
stanzas of "The Walrus and the Carpenter": "Such quanti- 
ties of sand" and "And shed a bitter tear." See Lewis Carroll, 
"Tweedledum and Tweedledee" in 'Through the Looking-Glass 
(London: Macmillan, 1872), 73-4. 

" For a full account of this work, see Michael Hancher, The 
Tenniel Illustrations to the "Alice" Books (Ohio State University 
Press, 1985), 40-47. According to Hancher the attribution to 
Massys, now the preferred spelling, is questioned. 

'^ Alice's brother (1865-1950) and his wife. 

" Lady Redesdale (mother of the Mitford sisters) was the 
former Sydney Bowles, who was one of Carroll's child corre- 
spondents. See Cohen, Letters 2, 840-1. 

'"^ The Times printed an extensive list of attendees, and, like 
Squire's pamphlet, often listed them by title rather than by 
name. The following may be of interest to Carrollians: Sir 
Harold Hartley, Mr. Harold Hartley, Mr. Falconer Madan, Mr. 
S. H. Williams, Sir W. Graham Green, Lady Hastings, 
Beatrice Hatch, Miss Evelyn Hatch, Mr. and Mrs. Charles 
Morgan, Lady Max-Muller (sic). Sir John Murray, Mrs. A. 
Murray Smith, Mrs. Reginald Smith, and Mr. W. M. Standen. 
Where Franklin names "Sir Victor and Lady Gollancz," 'Tlw. 
Times names "Lady and Miss Gollancz." 

''' Miles Franklin, Sydney Royal (London: Shakespeare Head, 
1947). See Sanjay Sircar, "Miles Franklin's Sydney Royal 
(1947): An Antipodean Menippea for Children," The New 
Revieio of Children 's Literature and Lihrarianship 1 (1995): 
135-160, and "Transformative 'Australianness' and Powerful 
Children: Miles Franklin's Sydney Royal," Bookbird?>l, no. 1 
(Spring 1999): 25-30. 

'*' Miles Franklin, My Career Goes Bung (Sydney: Angus and 
Robertson, 1946, rpt. 1980), 169. 

'^ "The Visibly Vicious Vulture, '^\Tio Wrote Some Verses to a 
Veal-Cutlet in a Volume Bound in Vellum." Edward Lear, 
More Nonsense Pictures, Rhymes Botany dfc. (London: Robert 
Bush, 1872). 

'^ Lion Feuchtwanger, Die hdfiliche Herzogin Margaretha Mault- 
asch, translated by Willa and Edwin Muir, (Berlin: Weg\veiser- 
Verlag, 1923, reprinted 1972). 

''' Lewis Carroll Centenaty Exhibition, Including a Catalogue of the 
Exhibition, with Notes and Essays on Dodgson 's Illustrators by Har- 
old Hartley, and Additional Literary Pieces, Chiefly Unpublished, 
with Six Illustrations, edited by Falconer Madan (London: J. 
and E. Bumpus, Old Courthouse, 1932). 

'^^ A Gregarious Culture: Tofncal Wjitirigs of Miles Eranklin, edited by 
Jill Roe and Margaret Bettison (St. Lucia, Australia: University of 
Queensland Press, 2001). 

^' Miles Franklin, Childhood at Brindahella: My Eirsl Ten Years 
(Sydney: Angus and Robertson, [1963]). 

'^'^ See Sanjay Sircar, "My Brilliant Career as Metafiction: Feminist 
Rewriting, Resistance and Collage," Zeitschrift fiir Anglistik und 
Amerikanistik: A (hmrlerly of Language, Literature and Culture 
46, no. 1 (Spring 1998), 52-68; "Miles Franklin's My Brilliant 
Career," The Courier-Mail (Brisbane), Education Supplement, 
June 18, 1985, 31; "Artfully Artless: Miles Franklin and My 
Brilliant Career," Folio (Winter 1983), 20-27; "Reading and 
Writing against the Maerchen: Miles Franklin's No Family," 
Marvels and Tales, 10 no. 2, Dec. 1996, 53-67. 

-' Miles Franklin, My Brilliant Career (London: William Black- 
wood & Son.s, 1901). 

'^'* Phyllis Greenacre, Swift and Carroll: A Psychoanalytic Study of 
Two Lives (New York: International Universities Press, 1955), 

''^■' Quite by happy coincidence, this call has been picked up by 
Charlie Lovett (see pp. 13-14). I am told that Mr. Lovett has 
negative views of all the books (-arroll championed, but even 
accounts of books not of the first rank, or books downright 
poor, are useful in building up and filling out our sense 
of the period, for ordinary readers today have virtually no 
direct access to the texts. And degustibus non est disputandum: 
opinions on these forgotten books themselves might legiti- 
mately differ as well; further, they might be extrinsically or 
intrinsically interesting, for various reasons, as against merito- 


yC ^(Mtofi/ S^ ^arti/y 



■^^^^h, Boston and environs. Famous for its 
Ljk tea party, and a place where Wonderland 
M. Xlies not just in one's imagination but at 

the end of the "Blue" MBTA subway line (it's a grey- 
hound-racing track in Revere). Erstwhile home to the 
Girl's Latin School, where the only one of Carroll's 
pennings to be published exclusively 
outside of England was printed, and pres- 
ent home to the Harcourt Amory collec- 
tion, where Carroll's own vellum-bound 
copy of Wonderland now is housed. More 

On Friday, the Maxine Schaefer 
Memorial Reading took place at the 
Perkins School for the Blind in nearby 
Watertown. The Perkins School, founded 
in 1829,' educates blind and deaf-blind 
students, and is proud to be the alma 
mater of Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller. 
Maxine's daughter EUie began the hour- 
long visit, attended by about fifty students 
from their middle- and high school classes, 
by explaining who Maxine was and why she 
was so important to our society. Despite 
being a bit "under the weather," the fabulous Patt 
Griffin performed a memorable rendition of the Cat- 
erpillar scene. After the enthusiastic applause died 
down, Alan Tannenbaum, David and Mary Schaefer 
and grandson Mickey Salins answered questions. 
The students and the school library were then pre- 
sented with CDs of Wonderland, the first time the fund 
has been used in a medium other than books. "It 
truly warms my heart to see the children's excitement 
when they attend one of these readings and receive 
their gift. The readings have occurred for over seven 
years now! My mother would be so proud!" ~ Ellie 

The general meeting took place the next day, 
a hot, muggy Saturday, May 8, within the air-condi- 
tioned comfort of the Houghton Library at Harvard 
University in Cambridge. We sat in a darkish green, 
neo-Georgian room amidst glassed-in incunabula 
and other books with brown bindings and gilt stamps, 
a room in which Mr. Dodgson would surely have felt 
most at home — save for the laptops and digital pro- 
jectors, of course. Through the generosity of Arthur 

Armory Collection bookplate. 

A. Houghton Jr., class of 1929, Harvard (founded in 
1636) became the first American university to con- 
struct a separate research facility for the housing and 
study of rare books and manuscripts by establishing 
the eponymous library in 1942. 

The meeting began with a few announcements 
by our president, Alan Tannen- 
baum,''^ including sad news about 
Kay Rossman (p. 29), the sched- 
ule of our next meetings (p. 30), 
and a proclamation heralding the 
present author's ten years of edi- 
torship of the Knight Letter. 

Peter Accardo, whose title 
is "Acquisitions Bibliographer, 
Department of Rare Books" at 
the Houghton, bade us welcome. 
He led off with an excerpt from 
John Ruskin's autobiography, 
Praeterita, describing an after- 
noon tea with the Liddell girls, 
and went on to discuss the Hough- 
ton's Carroll holdings. In 1926, the 
university received the oustanding 
Lewis Carroll collection of Harcourt Amory, class of 
1876.^ Just a minuscule sample of their noteworthy 
holdings were on display: downstairs in a case were 
Carroll's own copy of the 1865 Wondeiiand, bound in 
white vellum; handwritten manuscripts of one of the 
issues of the Rectory Umbrella and one of Mischmasch; 
the table-of-contents page for Looking-Glass with Car- 
roll's handwritten corrections;* and other treasures. 
Scattered around the meeting room or in Accardo's 
hands were: a copy of Phantasmagoria with Carroll's 
corrections and handwritten copies of reviews; a 
first-edition Looking-Glass with drawings, touched-up 
proofs, and letters from Tenniel to the brothers Dal- 
ziel bound in; and a large electrotype (raised white- 
on-white letters!) edition of Wonderland \n?ide, coinci- 
dentally, for the Perkins School for the Blind (above) 
in 1904. And these were just the "teasers" from their 
vast collection. 

Our first speaker was Frederick C. "Rick" Lake, 
Harvard class of 1980, lyricist, ballroom dancer, and 
investment advisor — to give you just a flavor of his 
wide-ranging mind. He presented warm, anecdotal 


Will Brooker 

recollections centered around three journeys: one 
personal, one folkloristic, and one mythical. Among 
his personal remembrances was writing the libretto 
for Looking-Glass! during his college days, which was 
awarded Harvard's David McCord Prize in the Cre- 
ative Arts; and more recently, writing libretto and 
lyrics for Elephant &" Castle, a musical which relocated 
Looking-Glass to one night during the London Blitz. 
Coincidentally, our own Andrew Sellon starred as 
Humpty Dumpty in the first one, and mastered multi- 
ple roles for the second."' Lake's senior honors thesis, 
"Folkloristic Aspects of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adxjen- 
tures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass," the 
basis of part of today's talk, had also been presented 
at "The Lewis Carroll Phenomenon" conference at 
Cardiff University of Wales in 1998. 

As Lake says, "Folklore was, perhaps, among the 
first critical approaches ever suggested for the works of 
Lewis Carroll... The idea was in a letter to the author 
himself, from a fellow academic pointing out the par- 
allels between the Alicehooks and classic world myths: 

Are we to suppose, after all, that the saga of the 
Jabberwocky is one of the universal heirlooms 
which the Aryan race at its dispersion carried 
with it from the great cradle of the family? You 
really must consult Max Miiller about this. It 
is probable that the origo originalissima may be 
discovered in Sanskrit, and that we shall by 
and by have a labrivokaveda. The hero will turn 
out to be the Sun-God in one of his Avatars; 
and the Tumtum tree the great Ash Yggdrasil 
of the Scandinavian mythology."'' 

Robert Scott, Dean of Rochester, known later for 
his German translation of the poem, wrote the letter 
in 1872. Lake's talk (abridged in this report even 
more than usual, as his article is being prepared for 
future presentation in these pages) showed how the 
Alice stories (both variants of a similar tale) fit into 
classic story structures of folklore and mythology. He 

also illustrated how their creation was comparable to 
the oral transmission of traditional tales, both in the 
real circumstances of their origin and the fictional 
retellings inside the books. (For example, the Alice 
books both start with the invocation to the goddess 
/muse, in the style of Homer and other ancient sto- 
rytellers.) His exegesis demonstrated how they also 
conform to the standard typology of "girl tales": from 
the Substituted Bride and the Search for the Lost 
Spouse to, most familiar of all, Cinderella. He delved 
into "life-and-death food elements," comparing the 
stories to Genesis and the Scottish folktale "Ashley 
Pelt." Invoking the spirit of Joseph Campbell, Lake 
also eloquently discussed how the Alice stories fit into 
"the universal monomyth" and archetypes of all cul- 
tures, from Babylonian creation myths to Star Wars. 

Alan Tannenbaum then introduced some of our 
guests. Among the forty souls gathered were repre- 
sentatives from sister societies in England (Dr. Selwyn 
Goodacre, Will Brooker), Canada (Dayna McCaus- 
land, Andy Malcolm), and Japan (Eiko Okuni). 

Our featured guest. Will Brooker, Associate Pro- 
fessor in Communication at Richmond (the Ameri- 
can University in London) and author of six books 
including Batman Unmasked'^ and the excellent new 
volume Alice's Adventures: Lewis Carroll in Popular Cul- 
ture (see p. 32 for a full review), spoke next. His fasci- 
nating talk, "The Man in White Paper: Lewis Carroll 
in British Journalism, 1992-2004," was a captivating 
look at the public perception of Dodgson as reflected 
through 77 printed articles he had culled using the 
Lexis-Nexis search engine. Much of his talk was 
adapted from chapter two of his book, and so need 
not be gone into in great detail here. Suffice it to say 
that Booker's thesis is that there are two coexisting 
images of Dodgson: the "sainted innocent" and the 
"dark pedophile" — a "national treasure and a vaguely 
suspect enigma" — and that we are not dealing with 
the real man and the real little girl, but rather with 
icons called "Lewis Carroll" and "Alice," with the 
double-quotes emphasized. 

When theories pass from the measured argu- 
ment of more scholarly discourse to the bold 
statements of popular discussion, we find 
crudely drawn caricatures forming in the 
public consciousness. Most readers will come 
to associate these cartoonish but powerful 
images, rather than the cautiously indecisive 
portraits we gain from recent biographies, with 
the name Lewis Carroll. There is no room for 
subtlety or tentative suggestions in this kind of 
writing... and we should be aware that their 
articles will do more than any scholarly work 
to shape most people's understanding of what 
"we," as a culture, "know" about him. 


He concluded that Mr. Dodgson seems retroac- 
tively on trial, as we fruitlessly and unfairly attempt to 
judge him by modern standards. In the 1930s, he was 
seen through distorted Freudian lenses; in the 1960s 
through psychedelic ones; in today's perverted world, 
through "tabloid" eyes. 

A nearby eatery provided fine midday comes- 

In the afternoon program, Charlie Lovett, past 
president of our Society and author of ten books, 
several of them on Carroll, prefaced his talk by 
discussing The Jabberiuock, magazine of the Girls' 
Latin School-' from 1888 to 1928. Carroll's letter to 
them granting them permission to use the title and 
explaining the origins of the term is well known, as 
is his poem — Carroll's only publication exclusively 
printed outside of England — "A Lesson in Latin," 
making humorous use of the homograph amare (the 
infinitive "to love" and the vocative "bitter one"). Two 
other letters were written to the school; one of them 
was published. As issues of this magazine are nigh 
unto impossible to find, Lovett kindly produced a 
lovely eight-page keepsake for us, containing facsimi- 
les of two pages from the first issue (February, 1888), 
all of Dodgson 's contributions, and an obituary poem 
to him, all reprinted from originals in Lovett's collec- 
tion, i" 

He then began his talk, "Lewis Carroll: Shepherd 
of Books," by discussing his latest project: collecting 
a duplicate of the library of C. L. Dodgson, using Jef- 
frey Stern's Lewis Carroll, Bibliophile^^ as a springboard, 
and correcting many of its errors, inconsistencies, 
and omissions in the process. His resultant 350-page 
"monster," a true and accurate catalogue of Dodg- 
son 's library, will be published by McFarland next 
spring, and Charlie is on a personal quest to acquire 
ever-more-arcane titles. 

Lovett then began his actual theme: those very 
few books by authors other than himself in whose 
publication Dodgson was instrumental, or at least in- 
fluential. There were five: The Likeness of Christ (1880) 
by his acquaintance Thomas Heaphy, whose art he 
had admired; Through Ranks to a Commission (1881) 
by his former student Acland Troyte; Bumblebee Bogo's 
Budget (1887), a collection of poems by his friend Wil- 
liam Webb Follet Synge, illustrated by another friend, 
Alice Havers (Mrs. Frederick Morgan) and published 
anonymously (by "A Retired Judge"); Evie; or, The Visit 
to Orchard Farm (1889) by his cousin Elizabeth Geor- 
gina Wilcox; and The Lost Plum-Cake (1897) by the 
selfsame cousin, then Mrs. Charles Allen. 

Mr. Dodgson did not display much critical acu- 
men in the books he "shepherded," to say the least. 
Lovett's hysterically funny readings of some of the 
abysmal poems from Bumblebee Bogo's Budget (not to 
mention his infectious enthusiasm in his manifold 
declaimings of the title) showed for what meager 


Bumblebee Bogo 

substance Dodgson practically forced Macmillan to 
publish this book — in identical formats to the Alice 
books yet! It did not sell well. Similarly, Evie, a maud- 
lin, treacly tale of a dying girl discovering the joys 
of the countryside, was poorly produced and of no 
particular merit, but was quite amusing to our mod- 
ern ears when the more mawkish passages were read. 
Dodgson 's introduction to The Lost Plum Cakevjais not 
only his only preface to another's book: it was the last 
piece of his writing to appear in print in his lifetime. 

Lovett concluded by mentioning some books 
that Dodgson did not have much to do with publish- 
ing, but kept a large supply of, to give as gifts. His 
greatest enthusiasm here seems to have been for an 
1887 picture book by Edith Shute (illustrator, by the 
way, of The Lost Plum Cake) csdled Jappie Chappie and 
Hoiv He Loved a Dollie, an utterly racist (to modern 
eyes) bit of drivel probably based on the immense 
popularity of The Mikado. 

Next, Dr. Anashia Plackis of Stony Brook, a 
children's literature specialist whose doctoral dis- 
sertation was on Carroll, spoke on "Oxford's Trojan 
Horse: Lewis Carroll's Covert Drama," a speculation 
on Dodgson's theology and how it informs his writ- 
ings. She began by demonstrating how passionate was 
his opposition to censorship, how resistant he was to 
priestly authority, and how he was almost heretical 
in his disbelief in eternal punishment. These views, 
of course, were best kept secret, as he was a Broad 
Church member 

Dn Plakis took us back before the time of Con- 
stantine to show how the priestly caste was inaugu- 
rated, and how it gained its autocracy. The blatantly 
anti-authoritarian Alice books, she feels, are a "Trojan 
horse," as they were meant to expose the tactics of 
suppression and intimidation of the priests and bish- 
ops who keep the lait)' in thrall. 

With nods to the "Little Birds" poem of Sylvie 
and Bruno Concluded (the references to "letterpress, 
when roasted" as defining bookburning and censor- 
ship), Milton's Areopagitica: A Speech for the Liberty 
of Unlicensed Printing (1644), and several of young 
Dodgson's early magazine pictures of the sadism 


Dr. Selwyn Goodacre 

of authority being punctured by youthful ideahsm 
("The First Earring," "High Life and Low Life" from 
the Rectory Umbrella, and "He Gave It to his Father" 
from Mischmasch, leading to the great emblematic 
illustration of the Jabberwock being slain by the di- 
vine child), and Carroll's own illustration from Under 
Ground oi {he White Rabbit ("symbol of the Beast"), 
she showed how much he despised the abuse of 
authority. Dodgson "worked quietly within the cor- 
ridors of power to make Oxford a more humane and 
democratic institution." Her enlightening discussion 
moved on to the theological disputes around 1867 
with Wilberforce, Darwin and the like. She noted that 
the Adventures "w eve first told on July 4th, a date of no 
little significance to the overthrowing of authority. 

Her diversions and digressions into the "Mouse's 
Tale" ("Fury as Satan"), the quoted passage about 
William the Conqueror, Dodgson as a Gnostic and 
a Socratic, Tertullian, and The Da Vinci Codevjere of 
further interest. She noted that Dodgson's father 
(the ultimate authority figure in Dodgson Jr. 's youth) 
sided with the Bishop in all this. In Wonderland, the 
whole ecclesiastical hierarchy collapses: "You're noth- 
ing but a pack of cards." 

There was a brief intermission and feeding-frenzy 
as books and other objects were sold, bartered, and 
given away. One piece of excellent news: the DVD of 
Andy Malcolm and George Pastic's superb 24-minute 
film "Sincerely Yours," premiered at our San Fran- 
cisco meeting, is now for sale (p. 41). 

Our final speaker. Dr. Selwyn Goodacre, former 
chairman of the Lewis Carroll Society (UK) and edi- 
tor of its journal /a/^^^rti'oc/t)! for two decades, returned 
to his greatest literary passion, the original Macmillan 
Alice, for his talk "Annotated Tenniel." With his usual 
dry wit, he kept us enthralled. 

It was Goodacre's contention that while Martin 
Gardner had done sterling work with the various 
editions of his Annotated Alice, he had paid scant at- 


tention to the pictures of John Tenniel. Goodacre 
sought to redress the balance by homing in almost 
exclusively on the pictures for Alice's Adventures, 
and demonstrating the many ways in which Tenniel 
complemented the text and added to the story with 
his own humorous touches. 

Using a PowerPoint presentation, he showed pic- 
tures of every page of the "6s." edition that had a Ten- 
niel picture, commenting on each one in turn, point- 
ing out the interaction between text and picture. So 
we saw the Father William pictures as chapbook pas- 
tiche, the subtle and humorous changes in the court- 
room scenes, what the chimney smoke reveals as Bill 
is hurtled skyward, the possible background figures 
in the puppy picture, and the way in which characters 
are grouped in the Caucus Race scenes for maximum 
effect. Goodacre showed how often Tenniel was able 
to support Carroll in solving problems set by the text, 
for example the tricky situation presented by a child 
approaching, and having to cope with, a Tea Party 
made up of adults. We saw how skillfully Tenniel used 
lighting effects to frame or maximize key features in 
the pictures, and why, for example, some pictures are 
full page, some alongside blocks of text, some chap- 
ter headings, and so on. For a full exposition, we must 
await the possible eventual publication of Goodacre's 
Annotated Tenniel. He distributed a nice keepsake of 
statistics and data on the illustrations, including a 
tantalizing segment on sections of the book that could 
have been illustrated, and a bibliography. 

With a few more hearty cries of "Bumblebee 
Bogo's Budget" (a tongue-twister leading to "Stum- 
blebum Bongo's Bupkis" and other variations), we 
dissolved, only to re-amalgamate at one of Boston's fa- 
mous seafood restaurants for dinner, where we had to 
explain to our British friends that "chowder" (or, lo- 
cally, "chowdah") was American for "beautiful soup." 

' Visit their Web site at to learn more about 

this worthy and historical institute. 
'^ Whose itinerary was between the Rhyming State Capitols 

(Austin to Boston). 
■^ Its handsome catalogue, by Flora Livingston, was printed in a 

hardcover edition of 65 in 1932. 
■* See "The Authentic Wasp" by Matt Demakos in Knight Letter 

■'' Most regrettably, Andrew was prevented from attending this 

meeting due to illness. 
*' Robert Scott to Lewis Carroll, 1872, in Aspects of Alice, edited 

by Robert Phillips (New York: Vintage, 1971), 377. 
' Will Brooker, Batman Unmasked (London: Continuum, 2001). 
" Will Brooker, Alice's Adventures: Lewis Carroll in Popular Culture 

(London: Continuum, 2004). 
■' Now the co-ed Boston Latin Academy. 
'" Further information can be found in Charles Lovett's Lewis 

Carroll and the Press — An Annotated Bibliography of Charles 

Dodgson's Contributions to Periodicals (Oak Knoll/British Li- 
brary, 1999). 
' ' Jeffrey Stern, Lewis Carroll Bibliophile (Luton, Bedforshire: 

White Stone Publishing; The Lewis Carroll Society, 1997). 


Mk. Dodgson and rhe Royal Family 


Part II: The Duchess and Her Family 


Dodgson became acquainted with the Queen's son 
Prince Leopold^ during his days at Oxford, but he 
did not meet his wife and children until some years 
later, by which time Leopold 
had already died. Dodgson met 
the widow Princess Helena^ as 
a guest of Lord Salisbury at Hat- 
field House in June 1889. The 
two Royal children were also 
there. In a letter to Isa Bowman, 
written from Hatfield House on 
June 8, 1889, he wrote: 

Then there is the Duchess 
of Albany here, with two 
such sweet little children. 
She is the widow of Prince 
Leopold (the Queen's 
youngest son), so her 
children are a Prince and 
Princess.... Now that I have 
made friends with a real live 
little Princess, I don't intend 
ever to speak to any more 
children that haven't titles. 
In fact, I'm so proud, and I 
hold my chin so high, that I 
shouldn't even 5^^ you if we 

The Duchess oj Albany and her children 
(Private Collection) 

Clearly impressed at being 
introduced to the Duchess and her children. Prin- 
cess Alice'' and Prince Leopold,'' he recorded in his 
diary the same meeting: 

Once at luncheon I had the Duchess as 
neighbour, and once at breakfast, and had 


Based on a talk given to the Lewis Carroll Society (UK) on 
April 28, 2000. Extracts from Dodgson's diaries and letters 
are the copyright of the Trustees of the C. L. Dodgson Estate, 
who have kindly given permi.ssion for them to be reproduced 
in this article. Part I, "Queen Victoria and Her Family," was in 
the previous issue (#72) of the Knight Letter, and it included an 
abbreviated family tree. All letters presented with salutations and 
signatures are published here for the first time. 

several other chats with her, and found her 

very pleasant indeed. Princess Alice is a 

sweet little girl, though with rather unruly 

high spirits. Her little brother was entirely 

fascinating: a perfect little 

Prince, and the picture of 

good humour.'' 


On June 10, 1889, Dodgson 
noted in his diary: "I got the 
Duchess' leave to send the lit- 
tle Alice a copy of the Nursery 
'Alice': and mean to send with 
it Alice Under Ground for her- 
self."' There was something 
in Dodgson's personality that 
made him inclined to help 
and support a widow with chil- 
dren, even though the family 
was of royal blood. There 
are many other instances of 
him befriending widows and 
families who had lost their 
father; for example, the Bar- 
rys, the Balfours, the Cootes, 
the Druries, the Haringtons, 
the Ottleys, the Quins, the Ste- 
vens, and so on. 

In a letter dated June 12 to 
Beatrice Ethel Heron-Maxwell 
(1855-1939), lady-in-waiting to the Duchess of Al- 
bany, Dodgson gave his candid opinion of the Royal 

the little Duke. ..was, to my mind, about 1% 
times, let us say, as fascinating as his sister!... 
Don't think, because I rate the little boy's 
charms as higher than his sister's, that I fail 
to see hers. The little Princess I thought very 
sweet, but liable, under excitement, to betray 
what is called "self-will" (it is really weakness of 
will) and that selfishness which is the beset- 
ting sin of childhood. Under weak manage- 
ment, that child would, I should fear, grow 
up a terror to all around her!... how should 


we get on tete-a-tete? If I were offered a 
tete-a-tete walk with whichever I preferred 
of those two children, I should choose the 
little Duke... I don't feel on sufficiently in- 
timate terms with the children to send any 
messages. Besides, I n^f^send, to a child, any 
colder message than "love": and that would 
be presumptuous to a Princess!*^ 

Some years later, Dodgson's opinion of the Prin- 
cess changed, as this diary entry for November 16, 
1891 indicates: 

The little Alice is improved, I think, not 
being so unruly as she was two years ago: 
they are charming children. I taught them 
to fold paper pistols, and to blot their names 
in creased paper, and showed them the ma- 
chine which, by rapid spinning, turns the 
edging of a cup, etc., into a filmy solid: and 
promised to send Alice a copy of [William 
Allingham's] The Fairies... \ mark this day with 
a white stone.'^ 

He began by sending gifts to the Albany family, 
but he was highly conscious of this royal favor, so 
much so that his tone becomes gushing and embar- 
rassing to us today. For example, this letter to the 
Duchess, which he wrote on July 1, 1889, survives as a 
draft in the Dodgson Family Collection with numer- 
ous corrections all in Dodgson's hand: 

In sending the book, promised for the little 
Princess Alice, and one also which... I am 
permitted to give to the little Duke of Albany, 
I am bold enough to hope that your Royal 
Highness will honour me by accepting one 
more book as well, which will follow in a few 

May I also take the opportunity — per- 
haps the only one I shall ever have — of add- 
ing a few words to what I said on a subject 
we spoke of; in one of those interesting 
little talks which I remember with so much 
pleasure. The subject was the desirability of 
remembering, or forgetting, a remark made 
by one of your children, on a scene in the life 
of Our Lord.... Is it not a cruelty (however 
unintentionally done) to tell any one an 
amusing story of that sort, which will be for 
ever linked, in his or her memory, with the 
Bible words, and which may have the effect, 
just when those words are most needed, for 
comfort in sorrow, or for strength in tempta- 
tion, or for light in "the valley of the shadow 
of death," of robbing them of all their sacred- 
ness and spoiling all their beauty? "* 

The Duchess responded with a "thank-you" letter 
dated August 17 acknowledging the copy o^ Alice's Ad- 

ventures Under Ground that Dodgson discussed send- 
ing in the above letter: 

Accept my best thanks for the nice book 
you kindly sent me. It gives me much plea- 
sure as I am a great friend of your Alice and 
her adventures. I must now also thank you 
for your letter to me and the two charming 
books with which you made my children very 
happy. I think they will well remember the 
kind gentleman who spent so much time 
with them in amusing them and telling them 

Dodgson sent a copy of the reprinted colored 
Nursery "Alice" to the six-year-old Princess Alice later 
that year and received a letter of thanks from her, 
written in her best handwriting, no doubt guided by 
a governess or her mother. "I thank you very much 
for the pretty book which I like very much. I like 
very much the painted pictures and I have read the 
story myself."'- 

CoUingwood recorded that when Dodgson sent 
a copy of The Nursery "Alice" to the Princess, he re- 
ceived a note of thanks from her, and also a letter 
from her mother, in which she said that the book 
had taught the Princess to like reading, and to do it 
out of lesson-time. CoUingwood also reported that 
Dodgson gave her brother. Prince Charles,'^ a copy 
of Merry Elves; or, Little Adventures in Fairyland, illus- 
trated by C. O. Murray and first published in 1874. In 
his note of thanks for the gift, the Prince wrote, "Alice 
and I want you to love us both."'"* Dodgson sent Prin- 
cess Alice the following letter dated June 1, 1890: 

My dear Alice, 

1 thank you and your little brother very 
much for writing your names so nicely on your 
photograph: and for your nice little note. 

Now 1 want you to do a little puzzle for 
me: and if you do it very nicely, I'll tell you 
what I'll give you — a golden arm-chair, large 
enough for you to sit in, with crimson velvet 
cushions, and made so that you can fold it 
up small, and put it in a thimble, and carry it 
about in your pocket! 

You see this paper-ring that I've made for 
you, don't you? And you know that every piece 
of paper has got two sides, don't you? Very well. 
Now all you've got to do is this. You mustn't 
tear the ring, or cut it: you must keep it exactly 
as it is: but you must get a nice black pencil, 
and mark a lot of crosses all the way along one 
side of the paper — like this you know — + + + 
+ + + + + + + + and, when you've quite covered 
one side with crosses, then turn it over to the 
other side, and put a lot of rounds all the way 
along it — like this, you know — oooooooo 
o o o o o and, if you do that very nicely, then 





^ J>ta. /o Oil' ^^ijIjo ^. 

I'll send you the golden arm- 
chair, that came all the way 
from Wonderland! 

I send my love to your 
brother, and to your dear 
little self: and I am 

Your loving friend, 

Lewis Carroll.'^ 

The puzzle, based on the 
single-sided Moebius strip, al- 
most certainly confounded the 
Princess, and she had no chance 
of earning Dodgson's gift of a 
golden armchair from Wonder- 

Princess Alice later recalled 
her early friendship with Dodg- 
son: "Doctor Dodgson or 'Lewis 
Carroll' was especially kind to 
Charlie and me, though when I 
was only five I offended him once when, at a chil- 
dren's party at Hatfield, he was telling us a story. He 
was a stammerer and being unable to follow what 
he was saying I suddenly asked in a loud voice, 'Why 
does he waggle his mouth like that?' I was hastily 
removed by the lady-in-waiting. Afterwards he wrote 
that he 'liked Charlie but thought Alice would turn 
out badly.' He soon forgot all this and gave us books 
for Christmas with anagrams of our names on the 

Dodgson later published two acrostics that he 
composed for the royal children in Three Sunsets 
and Other Poems, collectively titled "Puck Lost and 


Princess Alice, recalling in her autobiography her 
childhood memories, wrote: "we played a lot with a 
collection of little bronze animals we had acquired 
by knitting, as Mother had wrapped them in paper 
and then wound them inside a great ball of wool — a 
bribe on her part. We kept them in tins given to us 
by Lewis Carroll with pictures from Alice in Wonder- 
land on their sides and our names scratched by him 
on the bottom."'*^ In fact, the pictures were from 
Through the Looking-Glass, and the containers were the 
famous and extremely rare biscuit tins that Messrs. 
Jacob and Company issued in 1892 with Dodgson's 
approval. Dodgson had 300 empty tins to give away as 
gifts (50,000 are said to have been produced). Dodg- 
son received letters of thanks from both the Prince 
and Princess, both written from Claremont: 

I thank you very much for the pretty box you 
sent me. I think Charlie is much too big to get 
into it. 

ii^no'n/'' . 

'J. IS(^2 


I have not forgotten you, 
nor how to make pistols. I 
should like to go to Oxford 
again, and see you.'-' 

She was responding to the 
following letter from Dodgson, 
which accompanied the tins. 

Whenever Charlie is very 
naughty, you can just pop him 
in, and shut the lid! Then he'll 
soon be good. I'm sending one 
for him, as well: so now you 
know what will happen when 
you're naughty! 

I've written your names on 

your boxes, that you may know 

which is which. Please excuse 

the writing: it's not very easy to 

write on tin, you know. 

I send my best love, for you to divide with 

your brother: and I would advise you to give 

two-thirds to him, and take three-quarters for 


The eight-year old Prince Charles replied, "I 
thank you very much for the nice box you have sent 
me. I have put all my toy animals into it."^' 

There is no clue in Dodgson's diary to provide 
the background to the following letter received from 
the Duchess of Albany, and his letter to her is also 
missing. However, it seems he tried to arrange a meet- 
ing with the Duchess for an unknown friend (possibly 
an actress) while she was staying at Balmoral with 
other members of the Royal Family. 

Claremont, Esher 
November 2, 1892 
Dear Mr. Dodgson, 

Unfortunately I was already home again 
when I received your letter, and therefore 
cannot oblige you or your friend, and I am 
affraid \_sic\ I cannot do anything either for 
your friend at Balmoral for I know it is useless 
to make any request of that kind. I am afraid 
your friend and her company will have a bit- 
terly cold tour up in the north but perhaps 
it will make a full house more likely at Aber- 

My little people are, I am thankful to say, 
very well and grown very much since you saw 
them. They were very happy in Scotland, and 
have come home very rosy. 

Every day they become more companions 
to me, and reading to them in the evenings, 
while they knit, is a great pleasure, for they 
have good memories and are very eager and 
interested, and I think I learn as much as they 


do, by all the questions they 
want answers to. You would be 
much amused by their inven- 
tions at their play for they have 
a very lively imagination, and 
yet are very matter of fact. 

Hoping you have been and 
are keeping well and with kind- 
est regards. Believe me 

Yours sincerely, 

ymo, ru/i Jwijr -ti) rrta/tz 




7b , Oy 


(JoiML a 


On August 7, 1893, Dodgson 
wrote to Sir Robert Hawthorn Col- 
lins (1841-1908), Comptroller of 
the Princess's Household, with a 
proposal to send more gifts to the 
Royal children: 

(1) Does Alice possess an illustrated child's 
book, called Little Thumb? 

If not, I want to give it her. The pictures 
(of children and animals) are lovely, and 
enough to inspire her with the wish to learn to 
draw, if that wish has not yet occurred to her. 

(2) Does either of them possess a wire-puzzle, 
lately published, called "Home-Rule"? 

If not, I want to give it — to Alice, if she 
already has the book: if not, I'll send the book 
for her, and the puzzle for Charlie. '-^'^ 

Princess Alice received the book, and Prince 
Charles was sent the wire-puzzle. Their replies are as 

August 24, 1893 
Dear Mr. Dodgson, 

I thank you very much for the pretty book 
you have sent me. 1 have already finished it 
and I think the story and the pictures very 

I am glad to say your spider has remained 
on your letter and has not been impertinent 
enough to crawl over my papers as it did over 

You asked me which was my favourite ani- 
mal, it is a dog and Charlie's is a kitten. 

Charlie and I send our love to you. 

Your affec 


August 24, 1893 
Dear Mr. Dodgson, 

I thank you very much for the puzzle you 
so kindly sent to me. I watched Mother do it 

up and un-do it, so that now I 

can do it myself. 

Next Thursday we are 

going yachting. 
Yours affectly 
Charles Edward ^^ 

It is easy to understand 
Prince Charles's greater interest, 
perhaps, in spending some time 
yachting, maybe on the Royal 
Yacht. In the final surviving let- 
ter from Princess Alice, we hear 
of an event that took place on 
the Royal Yacht. 

Octobers, 1893 
Dear Mr. Dodgson, 

I thank you very much for 
the dear little pig you have 
sent me. Is the answer to your 
riddle "Alice" (all ice)? 

Charlie has had chickenpox but is nearly 
well again. I had it on the yacht. 
Your affec Alice^'' 

The following November, Dodgson sent this let- 
ter to the Duchess: 

Will you kindly send your copy of Sylvie and 
Bruno to Messrs. Macmillan, 29 Bedford 
Street, Covent Garden, that the forthcom- 
ing volume, Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, may 
be bound to match. I hope it may be out by 
Christmas, but am not sure. The labour of 
getting such a book through the Press, is 
more than any one, who has not experienced 
it, would imagine. I have been engaged on it 
more than 4 months (not in xvriting it — it was 
nearly all written, years ago) , and am working 
about 8 hours a day at it. The other day I 
worked for 13 hours!'^'' 

It appears that the Duchess sent the children's 
copy to Macmillan (not presented by him; he saw the 
Sylvie and Bruno books as being for older children and 
adults, and presentation copies to young children are 
rare). So Dodgson had to write to R. H. Collins to put 
the matter right. Clearly, the Duchess had a special 
morocco-bound copy that he wanted to match. There 
is no further evidence of contact between Dodgson 
and the Albany family. 


Let us return to the kings and queens in Alice's Adven- 
tures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. 

Do they tell us any more about Dodgson 's atti- 
tude to royalty? Do the illustrations by Tenniel reveal 
his attitude to the Royal Family? It is interesting that 
Tenniel chose to include the State Crown of Eng- 


Jtt/vci/nJt/ you/ 
^'lu omodi Lyiy t/w mm 
wT/ mw Aa/Vfy x)-e/nC"rm, 
J mm ludall'Truu Im. 

land, St. Edward's Crown, in 
his illustration of Alice meet- 
ing the Queen of Hearts. He 
was no stranger to depicting 
the Royal Family, especially 
Queen Victoria, in the pages 
of Punch. The Crown adds a 
respectful element of reality 
to his illustration. The Queen 
of Hearts is a three-dimen- 
sional character in Tenniel's 
illustrations, whereas the 
King of Hearts is a more two- 
dimensional character. Does 
this reflect the strong influ- 
ence that Queen Victoria had 
on society? The queens in 
Wonderland and Looking-Glass 
play significant roles. They 
expect to get their way, ruling 

with firmness and determination, ordering Alice to 
submit to their every wish. 

The White Queen in Looking-Glass is an excep- 
tion — she is more muddle-headed and mild. Is 
Dodgson parodying perceived regality and majesty? 
This is a distinct possibility. He had first-hand ex- 
perience of the Royal Family and he knew that the 
Queen ruled her family with strictness and determi- 
nation, preparing them for their role in society, pre- 
paring them for duty to their country. He saw the 
outcomes of this upbringing when he met two of the 
Princes who became undergraduates at Oxford. His 
own attitude towards children was very different. 
He probably did not agree with the stern approach 
meted out by "dumpy" and "plain" Queen Victoria 
in bringing up her children. The ruthless Queen of 
Hearts has echoes of Queen Victoria, and this is pos- 
sibly by design. Even some illustrators after the copy- 
right ran out in 1907, Brinsley Le Fanu for example, 
have depicted the Queen of Hearts as Queen Victo- 
ria. ^'^ The White Queen is described by Dodgson in 
his article for The Theatre as: "gentle, stupid, fat and 
pale; helpless as an infant; and with a slow, maunder- 
ing, bewildered air about her, just 5Mgg'^5^mg' imbecil- 
ity; but never quite passing into it."^^ Is this Dodgson's 
view of the real Queen Victoria, the private image not 
seen by her subjects, but seen by Dodgson at Christ 
Church as a short, plain, dumpy individual? Did he 
want to make some statement about the way she had 
brought up her children? Again, this is a distinct pos- 

Dodgson took a keen interest in the Royal chil- 
dren. We have already heard about his gifts to Prin- 
cess Beatrice, the Queen's youngest daughter. She 
did not forget Dodgson's kindness, even in later life. 
During the run-up to the centenary celebrations of 
Dodgson's birth in 1932, Princess Beatrice^^ became 


one of the most significant supporters 
and was Patroness of the Lewis Carroll 
Exhibition in London. She lent her 
1866 white vellum bound Aliceiox the 
display, where, according to the cata- 
logue prepared by Falconer Madan, it 
had pride of place. ■^" 

To summarize, Dodgson was no 
stranger to royalty. He was in the 
privileged position of seeing them 
close up, conversing with them, cor- 
responding with them, and seeing 
them as real people rather than hav- 
ing the distant and often false view 
that prevailed among ordinary folk. 
His impression of Queen Victoria was 
influenced by his meeting with her, 
and the way in which she treated her 
children. To some extent he did not 
approve of her rigid and controlling 
manner. He gave many gifts to members of the Royal 
Household and developed a close and warm friend- 
ship with some of them. His attitude towards royalty 
may have influenced his depiction of the kings and 
queens in his two Alice books, which do not always 
show them in the best light, but as flawed and strange 
beings, often ruthlessly parodying royal etiquette. Yet 
he remained a loyal subject of his Queen and a true 
believer in Victorian standards and values. 

' Prince Leopold George Duncan Albert Wettin, Duke of 
Albany (1853-1884). 

- Princess Helena Frederica Augusta of Waldeck-Pyrmont, 
Duchess of Albany (1861-1922). 

"^ Dodgson to Isa Bowman, June 8, 1889, in Morton Cohen, 
with the assistance of Roger Lancelyn Green, The Letters of 
Lewis Carroll (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979), 743. 

"* Princess Alice Mary Victoria Augusta Pauline (1883-1981). 

■'' Prince Leopold Charles Edward George Albert (1884-1954). 

^ Dodgson, June 10, 1889, British Librar)'. On this date, Carroll 
made a composite entr)' in his diaries of days spent at Hat- 
field House from May 17 to June 10. Edward Wakeling, ed., 
Lewis Carroll's Diaries: The Private Journals of Charles Lutrvidge 
Dodgson, vol. 8 (Luton & Clifford, England: The Lewis Car- 
roll Society, forthcoming). See also Roger Lancelyn Green, 
The Diaries of Lewis Carroll (New York: Oxford University 
Press, 1954), 471. 

^ Dodgson, June 10, 1889, British Librar)'. Being a composite 
entry, this comment, which does not appear in Green's ver- 
sion of the diaries, may not have occurred on the same day 
as the events above. 

^ Dodgson to Beatrice Ethel Heron-Maxwell, June 12, 1889, 
Roy Davids Bookseller. 

'^ Dodgson, November 16, 1891, British Library. 
'" Dodgson to the Duchess of Albany, July 1, 1889, Dodgson 
Family Collection. Collected in Cohen, Letters, 748, with 
remarks as to its being a draft. Carroll expresses the same 
sentiment in a letter to an unidentified recipient; see Cohen, 
Letters, 1116-7. 

" The Duchess of Albany to Dodgson, August 17, 1889, The 
Dodgson Family Collection. See also Cohen, letters, 748 n 3. 

'^ Princess Alice to Dodgson, [n.d.], Cohen, Inters, 749 n 1; 


Stuart Dodgson Collingwood, The Life 
and Letters of Lewis Cairoll (London: T. 
Fisher Unwin, 1898), 297-8. 
Prince Leopold Charles Edward 
George Albert We tin, Duke of Albany 
and later reigning Duke of Saxe-Co- 
burg-Gotha (1884-1954) 
Prince Charlie to Dodgson, [n.d.], 
Collingwood, Life and Letters, 298. 
Dodgson to Princess Alice, June 1, 
1890, Private Collection. 
Alice Mary Victoria Augusta Pauline, 
Princess, Countess of Athlone, For my 
Grandchildren: Some lieminiscences of Her 
Royal Highness Princess Alice (London: 
Evans Brothers, 1966), 66. 
Lewis Carroll, Three Sunsets and Other 
Poems (London: Macmillan, 1898), 

Countess of Athlone, For my Grandchil- 
dren, 65-66. 

Princess Alice to Dodgson, August 17, 
1892, Dodgson Family Collection. See 
also Cohen, Letters, 924 n. 1. Dodgson 
showed the two children how to make paper pistols when 
they visited him at his rooms in Oxford. 

Dodgson to Princess Alice, August 15, 1892, in Cohen, Letters, 

Prince Charlie to Dodgson, August 17, 1892, Dodgson Family 
Collection. See also Cohen, Letters, 924 n. 1. 
Duchess of Albany to Dodgson, November 2, 1892, Dodgson 
Family Collection. 

Dodgson to R. H. Collins, August 7, 1893, in Cohen, Ut- 
ters, 969-70. Dodgson adds one further question "(3) I have 
several times written to the Duchess (and have had most 
kind letters from her), but I have never known what is the 

lama/ ^nmt^u^m. 

proper way, either to begin, or to end, 
my letters: and have had to rely on what 
so many men in the "Schools" rely on 
for their "paper-work," viz., "the light 
of Nature"! Would you kindly enlighten 
my ignorance?" 

^'' Princess Alice to Dodgson and Prince 
Charlie to Dogson, both dated August 
24, 1893, Dodgson Family Collection. 
For partial quotations of these letters, 
see also Cohen, Utters, 970 n. 1. 
2,T Princess Alice to Dodgson, October 
6, 1893, Dodgson Family Collection. 
"^'^ Dodgson to the Duchess of Albany, 
November 30, 1893, in Cohen, Utters, 

'"^^ Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in 
Wonderland, illus., Brinsley Le Fanu 
(London: Stead's Books for the Bairns, 

■^^ Lewis Carroll, "'Alice' on the Stage," 
The Theatre, n.s., 9 (April 1887): 182. 
^'^ Princess Beatrice Mary Victoria Feo- 
dora (1857-1944). 
■'"* Madan, together with Sidney Herbert Williams, brought out 
during the previous year A Handbook of the Literature oftlie 
Rev. C. L. Dodgson (I^ewis Carroll) (London: Oxford University 
Press, 1931) in a limited edition of 754 copies, four of which 
were on mould-made paper. This book was dedicated to 
Princess Beatrice and bears the following printed dedication: 
"This book is respectfully dedicated to Her Royal Highness, 
Princess Beatrice (by permission), with gratitude for her 
gracious and kindly interest in this tribute to 'Alice' S.H.W." 
Princess Beatrice was presented with one of the special cop- 
ies, bound in dark blue leather with gilt trimmings. 




Vunch, April 29, 1882, defncting neivlyweds Leopold and Helena. 


TML CArruKL or tml snakic 


Since it was first published in 1876, Lewis Car- 
roll's The Hunting of the Snark has intrigued 
and baffled scholars. John Pudney, in Lewis 
Carroll and His World, claimed that "no poem has ever 
been more analysed."' Its mystery has provided grist 
for numerous doctoral dissertations, spawned Snark 
clubs that meet regularly in Oxford, Cambridge, and 
London, and even provided a name for one of the 
U.S. Air Force's guided missiles. 

Reviews of the poem at the time of publication 
called it a "glorious piece of nonsense" and "the most 
bewildering of modern poems... inspired by a wild 
desire to reduce to idiocy as many readers, and more 
especially reviewers, as possible." ^ Various scholars 
have claimed that the poem is an allegory or satire 
about vivisection, an Arctic expedition, a contempo- 
rary trial, a church controversy, or the author's sexual 
repression.'' Some scholars have maintained that it "is 
one of the few poems of deliberate nonsense that is 
an addition to our literature. "^ Morton Cohen, in his 
biography of Lewis Carroll, labeled it "the longest, 
most intricate nonsense poem in the English lan- 
guage,"^ and Michael Holquist claimed it to be "the 
most nonsensical nonsense which Carroll created. "*" 

Lewis Carroll never explained his poem, al- 
though he received numerous requests to do so. In 
its preface, he called it "a brief but instructive poem" 
with a "strong moral purpose."' After its publication, 
he enjoyed giving elliptical answers when asked what 
the poem meant. To one correspondent, he wrote 
that he could not explain the Snark, saying, "Are you 
able to explain things which you don't yourself un- 
derstand?"*^ To some children, he replied: "I'm very 
much afraid I didn't mean anything but nonsense! 
Still, you know, words mean so much more than we 
mean to express when we use them: so a whole book 
ought to mean a great deal more than the writer 
meant. '"^ 

Given Lewis Carroll's propensity for creating 
games, puzzles, and brain-teasing mathematical prob- 
lems, it would be uncharacteristic of him to create a 


This article is based on E. Fuller Torrey and Judy Miller, The 

Invisible Plague: The Rise of Insanity from 1 750 to the Present (New 
Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2001). 

poem of pure nonsense. Previous scholars have failed 
to focus on one of the most important relationships 
and profound events of Carroll's life. With that rela- 
tionship and event as a starting point, the meaning of 
The Hunting of the Snark becomes manifest. 

Robert Wilfred Skeffington Lutwidge was Lewis 
Carroll's maternal uncle. Despite a thirty-year age dif- 
ference, Lutwidge and Carroll were extremely close 
friends from the early 1850s until Lutwidge's death 
in 1873.>" 

Both men were lifelong bachelors and shared 
many interests. Lutwidge was deeply religious and a 
member of the National Society for Promoting Reli- 
gious Education. Carroll was an ordained Deacon in 
the Church of England; according to one biographer, 
"religion was the most important factor in his life."" 
Lutwidge was a founding member of the London 
Statistical Society, while Carroll was a lecturer in 
mathematics at Oxford. And it was Lutwidge who 
introduced his nephew to photography. Carroll's dia- 
ries are replete with notations of dining with "Uncle 
Skeffington," staying with him in London, attending 
concerts and plays together, and even vacationing 
together, as they did in 1871 in Scotland. 

Skeffington Lutwidge was a lawyer whose oc- 
cupation from 1845 until his death was as a salaried 
inspector on the Lunacy Commission. The Commis- 
sion, created in 1845 by the Lunatics Act, consisted 
of six professional inspectors (three physicians and 
three lawyers) whose full-time job was to make unan- 
nounced inspections of England's 177 county, pro- 
vincial, and metropolitan asylums and madhouses. 
In their work, the inspectors were described as 
"rummaging through cupboards, tasting food, and 
ransacking beds. . . . The board [Lunacy Commis- 
sion] centered its attention on the physical condition 
of asylums."''^ The inspectors also had authority to 
discharge patients who had been inappropriately 
admitted and even to recommend the closing of an 
asylum or madhouse, although these powers were 
rarely utilized. 

In addition to the six inspectors, the Lunacy 
Commission included up to five other lay members, 
although these additional positions were not always 
filled. In the years immediately preceding Skeffing- 
ton Lutwidge's death, the commission consisted of 
ten members: Francis Barlow, William Campbell, 


John Cleaton, MD, Colonel Henry Clifford, John 
Forster, Skeffington Lutwidge, Robert Nairne, MD, 
Bryan Procter, Lord Shaftesbury (Anthony Ashley 
Cooper), and James Wilkes, MD. Lord Shaftesbury 
was the chairman of the Commission, having been 
the primary author of the 1845 act that created it 
and being the most outspoken advocate for lunacy 
reform in England. 

On May 21, 1873, while inspecting the Fisherton 
Lunatic Asylum in Salisbury, Skeffington Lutwidge 
was attacked by a patient named McKave. Accord- 
ing to The Times, McKave "suddenly darted towards 
him and severely wounded him on the temple with 
a large rusty nail, the point of which had recently 
been sharpened."'^ Lewis Carroll immediately went 
to Salisbury, where his uncle initially appeared to be 
recovering. Six days later, however, Lutwidge's condi- 
tion rapidly deteriorated and he died. Lewis Carroll 
recorded in his diary his "dear Uncle's death. "'^ 

In July 1874, Carroll began writing The Hunt- 
ing of the SnarkJ-' At the time, Carroll was helping 
to nurse his twenty-two-year-old nephew and godson, 
who was dying from tuberculosis. In the poem, the 
Baker relates the following: 

"A dear uncle of mine (after whom I was named) 
Remarked, when I bade him farewell — " 

"Oh, skip your dear uncle!" the Bellman 
As he angrily tingled his bell. 

"He remarked to me then," said that mildest 
of men, 
"'If your Snark be a Snark, that is right: 
Fetch it home by all means — you may serve it 
with greens, 
And it's handy for striking a light. 

"'You may seek it with thimbles — and seek it 
with care; 

You may hunt it with forks and hope; 
You may threaten its life with a railway-share; 

You may charm it with smiles and soap — '" 

("That's exactly the method," the Bellman bold 

In a hasty parenthesis cried, 
"That's exactly the way I have always been told 

That the capture of Snarks should be 

"'But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day. 
If your Snark be a Boojum! For then 

You will softly and suddenly vanish away, 
And never be met with again!'""' 

The Hunting of the Snark is almost certainly a 
poem about the Lunacy Commission and the death 
of Skeffington Lutwidge. Snarks are insane patients 
of whom, Carroll says, "common Snarks do no man- 
ner of harm."" However, "Some are Boojums""^ and 
"If your Snark be a Boojum! For then / You will softly 
and suddenly vanish away, / And never be met with 

Several members of the Snark-hunting crew are 
identifiable as members of the Lunacy Commission. 
The Baker is a composite of Skeffington Lutwidge 
and Lewis Carroll. He is described as having many 
different names (Lutwidge had four; Carroll had five, 
if both his real name and pseudonym are counted), 
and nobody was certain what name to use. As schol- 
ars have noted, the Baker had 42 boxes; Carroll was 
42 years old at the time he started the poem. And the 
Baker is described in a self-deprecating, humorous 
way: "His form is ungainly — his intellect small."'-' 

The organizer and leader of the Snark-hunting 
expedition is the Bellman: 

The Bellman himself they all praised to 
the skies — 

Such a carriage, such ease and such grace! 
Such solemnity, too! One could see he was wise, 

The moment one looked in his face!'^" 

Despite this stature, the Bellman is ridiculed in 
the poem as merely tingling his bell, believing that 
the number three has a sacred power, giving contra- 
dictory orders, and steering the ship by a map that is 
a blank sheet of paper. Lord Shaftesbury, the chair- 
man of the Lunacy Commission, was a well-known 
aristocrat, widely praised social reformer, and devout 
Evangelical Christian who prayed twice daily and ac- 
cepted the Bible, including the Trinity, as the literal 
Word of God. He was also described by biographers 
as aloof, humorless, and puritanical; one biographer 
characterized his outlook as consisting "of a series of 
negatives [which] thus removed much of the plea- 
sure and color from life."'-^' Although they probably 
admired Lord Shaftesbury's commitment to social 


reform, Lutwidge and Carroll, both of whom loved 
the theater, would have had less sympathy with his 
puritanical values and fundamentalist religiosity. 

The Butcher and the Beaver are also identifiable 
as members of the Lunacy Commission. The Butcher 
is described as a prolific writer: 

So engrossed was the Butcher, he heeded 
them not, 

As he wrote with a pen in each hand, 
And explained all the while in a popular style 

Which the Beaver could well understand. ^2 

John Forster, a law^yer on the Lunacy Commis- 
sion, was the son of a Newcastle butcher and was a 
prolific writer who authored the five-volume Lives 
of the Statesmen of the Commonioealth, as well as biogra- 
phies of Oliver Goldsmith and Charles Dickens. His 
close friend on the Commission was Bryan Procter, 
who, under the pseudonym Barry Cornwall, pub- 
lished three books of poems. ^^ In The Hunting of the 
Snark, the Beaver is described as assisting his close 
friend, the Butcher: 

The Beaver brought paper, portfolio, pens. 

And ink in unfailing supplies: 
While strange creepy creatures came out 
of their dens. 

And watched them with wondering eyes.^^ 

Little information is provided in the poem on 
other members of the Snark-hunting crew, making 
it difficult to definitively link them to specific 
members of the Lunacy Commission. The Banker, 
who is attacked by the Bandersnatch and becomes 
insane, may have been Dr. Robert Nairne, a 
Commission physician who was also the treasurer of 
the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society. Nairne 
did not, as far as is known, become insane; however, 
Greville Howard, a lawyer who replaced Lutwidge 
on the Commission in 1873, did become insane 
shortly after being appointed. The Barrister, who 
was "brought to arrange their disputes," may have 
been William Campbell, a lawyer and close friend 
of Lutwidge's who had served on the Commission 
with him since 1845. And the maker of Bonnets 
and Hoods, who prepared to fight the Snark by 
"ferociously" planning "a novel arrangement of 
bows," may have been Henry Clifford, a Member of 
Parliament and Colonel of the Monmouth Militia.''^^ 

The method of Snark hunting recommended by 
the Bellman is also consistent with the activities of 
the Lunacy Commission. The method is described 
as follows: 

"'You may seek it with thimbles — and seek it 
with care; 

You may hunt it with forks and hope; 
You may threaten its life with a railway-share; 

You may charm it with smiles and soap — '"^"^ 

These instructions are repeated six different 
times, leading "some to suspect that it may conceal a 
private, cryptic message," according to Martin Gard- 
ner in The Annotated Snark.'^' The use of thimbles, 
forks, and soap is reminiscent of the activities of the 
lunacy inspectors as they examined the clothing, bed- 
ding, food, and sanitary conditions in the asylums. '-^^ 
The railway-share may refer to the fact that the in- 
spectors, who usually traveled by train, were among 
the railway's better customers. 

The Bellman's descriptions of Snarks is also 
loosely consistent with the mental states of many 
insane persons: 

"Come, listen, my men, while I tell you again 

The five unmistakable marks 
By which you may know, wheresoever you go. 

The warranted genuine Snarks. ["J-^'^ 

First, its "taste" is "meagre and hollow, but crisp: 
/ Like a coat that is rather too tight in the waist." 
Second is "its habit of getting up late" and becoming 
confused about when to eat. "The third is its slowness 
in taking a jest," perhaps referring to an impairment 
in abstract thinking, which is characteristic of the 
form of insanity now known as schizophrenia. "The 
fourth is its fondness for bathing-machines," possibly 
referring to the paucity of bathing facilities in the asy- 
lum. And "the fifth is ambition,"'" by which Carroll 
may have been referring to grandiose delusions that 
are characteristic of some insane individuals. 

Lewis Carroll's interest in insanity and his sophis- 
ticated understanding of insane thought processes 
are not surprising. Insanity was surely a regular topic 
of conversation with Uncle Skeffington, and on at 
least one occasion, in 1856, Carroll visited an asy- 
lum.'' Many scholars have commented on the promi- 
nent theme of madness in Alice's Adventures in Won- 
derland and Through the Looking-Glass, both conceived 
in the decade before Skeffington Lutwidge's death. 
The Hatter has a mad tea party, and the Cheshire Cat 
claims that "we're all mad here."''^ 

Why, then, did Lewis Carroll write The Hunting of 
the Snark} At one level, it is an expression of his grief 
at the loss of his closest friend and intellectual com- 
panion. Even the structure of the poem, subtitled 
"An Agony in Eight Fits," conveys the tragedy Carroll 
wished to express amidst the superficially whimsical 
dialogue and double entendres. "Agony" suggests ex- 
treme pain, anguish, a paroxysm of emotion. "Fit"'' is 
an archaic word for part of a poem, but it also means 
a seizure or convulsion. Edward Guiliano is correct 
in calling The Hunting of the Snark "the saddest of 
Carroll's writings. . . . One senses terror and despair 
throughout the overtly humorous Snark."^'* 

At a deeper level, the poem reflects Lewis Car- 
roll's grappling with the problem of evil in a world he 


believed to have been created by a benign and merci- 
ful God. In such a world, insanity itself is a problem, 
affecting, as it does, random individuals. Moreover, 
Carroll was well aware of the issue of increasing in- 
sanity, which was being widely debated at the time. 
Uncle Skeffington had even testified about this issue 
in 1859 before a Select Committee on Lunatics of the 
House of Commons.'^"' 

Lewis Carroll was a devout, obsessive man who 
was passionately devoted to order. The existence of 
insanity — the Snark — was deeply upsetting to him. 
Roger Henkle, in a 1973 article "The Mad Hatter's 
World," observed that "the recurrent preoccupation 
with anarchy and madness in 'Wonderland,' espe- 
cially, entices us to speculate on the part they played 
in Carroll's thought. . . . We have in Carroll a not 
unusual fear of anarchy and a tendency to equate 
individual insanity to social chaos. "'^^ 

One passage in The Hunting of the Snark espe- 
cially supports this interpretation: 

"I engage with the Snark — every night 
after dark — 

In a dreamy delirious fight: 
I serve it with greens in those shadowy scenes. 

And I use it for striking a light[."]'" 

Using the Snark "for striking a light" echoes 
Carroll's own description of how he wrote Alice's 
Adventures in Wonderland: "Sometimes an idea comes 
at night, when I have had to get up and strike a light 
to note it down...."^** Carroll was a well-known insom- 
niac who in 1893 described the kinds of problems 
that kept him awake: 

there are mental troubles, much worse than 
mere worry, for which an absorbing subject 
of thought may serve as a remedy. There are 
skeptical thoughts, which seem for the mo- 
ment to uproot the firmest faith; there are 
blasphemous thoughts, which dart unbidden 
into the most reverent souls; there are unholy 
thoughts, which torture, with their hateful 
presence, the fancy that would fain be pure."''^ 

Lewis Carroll, then, was wrestling with the prob- 
lem of evil and what it implied about the existence of a 
merciful God. Insanity itself, the Snark, was sufficient 
to challenge his faith but, even worse, some Snarks 
were Boojums. The death of his uncle, described as 
a man "whose kindly and generous disposition had 
endeared him to all his colleagues,"^" challenged 
Carroll's faith much more severely. What kind of God 
would end such a man's life by a random, irrational, 
senseless, pure act of evil? What kind of God would 
also take the life of Carroll's dying nephew and god- 
son, whom Carroll was nursing at the time he wrote 
the initial lines of The Hunting of the Snark? 

Lewis Carroll could not reconcile his uncle's 
death with his religious faith. Thus, when asked to 

explain the meaning of his poem, Carroll was being 
honest when he answered, "Are you able to explain 
things which you don't yourself understand?" Simi- 
larly, Carroll refused to let Henry Holiday, whom he 
had hired to illustrate the poem, depict the Boojum. 
Holiday wrote that all of Carroll's "descriptions of the 
Boojum were quite unimaginable, and he [Carroll] 
wanted the creature to remain so."'*' 

It is also significant that Lewis Carroll originally 
planned to have The Hunting of the Snark published 
as a Christmas poem.'*'^ The poem is a plea for faith 
when confronted by evil, l^he Hunting of the Snark, 
then, is not a whimsical, nonsense poem, but rather 
Lewis Carroll's cleverly disguised Book of Job. 

' John Pudney, Leiuis Carroll and His World (New York: (iharles 

Scribner's Sons, 1976), 84. 
■^ Review of The Hunting of the Snark, by Lewis Carroll , The Graphic 
13 (April 1.5, 1876): 379, and The Athenaeum 67 (April 8, 
1876): 495, reprinted in Morton Cohen, "Hark the Snark" in 
Lewis Carroll Observed, edited by Edward Guiliano (New York: 
Clarkson N. Potter, 1976), 99, 106. 
^ Morton Cohen, I^ewis Carroll: A Biography (New York: Alfred A. 

Knoph, 1995), 410. 
'* Derek Hudson, Lewis Carroll (London: Constable, 1954), 221. 
■'' Cohen, Leiuis Carroll, 404. 

^ Michael Holquist, "What is a Boojum? Nonsense and Modern- 
ism," Yale French Studies 4^ (1969), 145-64, reprinted in Lewis 
Carroll, Alice in Wonderland [Norton Critical Edition], edited 
by Donald J. Gray (New York: W. W. Norton. 1971), 407. 
' Lewis Carroll, preface to The Hunting of the Snark (London: 

Macmillan, 1876), ix. 
^ Lewis Carroll to Mary Brown, March 2, 1 880, in Morton Cohen, 
with the assistance of Roger Lancelyn Green, The Letters of 
Lewis Carroll (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979), 374. 
*■' Lewis Carroll to the Lowrie children, August 18, 1884, in 
Cohen, iMters, 548. 

'" Cohen, I^vis Carroll, 41 ; Lewis Carroll to his sister Elizabeth, 
June 25, [1852], in Cohen, Letters, 19. 

' ' Langford Reed, The Life of Lewis Carroll (London: W. and G. 
Foyle, 1932), 103. See also Cohen, Lewis Carroll, 362. 

''^ Nicholas Heney, "A Slavish Bowing Down: The Lunacy Com- 
mission and the Psychiatric Profession 1845-1860" in 'The 
Anatomy of Madness: Essays in the History of Psychiatry, edited by 
William F. Bynum, Roy Porter, and Michael Shepherd (New 
York: Tavi.stock, 1985-1988), HI. 

•^ The Times, May 30, 1873, 5. 

'"^ Lewis Carroll, May 28, 1873, Edward Wakeling, Lewis Carroll's 
Diaries: The Private Journals of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Clif- 
ford, England: The Lewis Carroll Society, 2001), 6:279. See 
also May 2 1 through May 23. 

''' See Lewis Carroll, November 6, 1875, ibid., 6:432. 

'^ Carroll, "The Baker's Tale" in Snark, 29-30. 

'^ Carroll, "The Bellman's Speech," ibid., 24. 

'*^ Ibid. 

'^ Carroll, "The Landing," ibid., 7. 

2" Carroll, "The Bellman's Speech," ibid., 20. 

2' Geoffrey B. A. M. Finlayson, The Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury, 
1801-1885 (London: Eyre Methuen, 1981), 602. 

2^ Carroll, "The Beaver's Lesson" in Snark, 53. 

2^ Hervey, "A SlaNish Bowing Down"; D.J. Mellett, "Bureaucracy 
and Mental Illness: The Commissioners in Lunacy 1845-90," 
Medical History 19 (1891), 221-50; Frederic Boase, Modem 
English Biography (Truro: Netherton and Worth, 1892; New 
York: Barnes and Noble, 1965). 


Carroll, "The Beaver's Lessson" in Snark, 53. 
See note 23. 

Carroll, "The Baker's Tale" in Snark, 30. 
Martin Gardner, The Annotated Snark, in Lewis Carroll's The 
Hunting of the Snark, edited by James Tanis and John Dooley 
(Los Altos, CA: William Kaufmann, 1981), 44. 
Hervey, "A Slavish Bowing Down," 111. 
Carroll, "The Bellman's Speech" in Snark, 21-2. 
Ibid., 22-23. 

Lewis Carroll, "Januaiy 18, 1856, Edward Wakeling, Diaries, 
2:24. [The claim that Carroll actually visited the asylum is 
debatable since Carroll merely wrote, "Southey came over 
to spend the day in photography, but we went instead to Dr 
Diamond of the Surrey Lunatic Asylum: he gave me two he 
has done lately, an excellent full length of Uncle Skeffington, 
and a boy at King's College, Frank Forester." However, the 
authors are likely correct that Carroll had some first-hand 
experience with lunatic asylums. -Ed.] 

Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (London: Mac- 
millan, 1866),90. 

Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford Univer- 
sity Press, 2002), CD-ROM, version 3.0, s.v. "fit, fytte." 
Edward Guiliano, "A Time for Humor: Lewis Carroll, Laugh- 
ter and Despair, and The Hunting of the Snark," in Lewis Car- 
roll: A Celebration — Essays on the Occasion of the 150th Anniver- 
sary of the Birth of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, edited by Edward 
Guiliano (New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1982), 123, 130. 
E. Fuller Torrey and Judy Miller, The Invisible Plague: The Rise 
of Insanity from 1750 to the Present (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rut- 
gers University Press, 2001), 87. 

Roger B. Henkle, "The Mad Hatter's World," Virginia Quar- 
terly Review 49 (Winter 1973) , 99-1 1 7. 
Carroll, "The Baker's Tale," Snark, 32-3. 
Lewis Carroll, "'Alice' on the Stage," The Theatre, n.s., 9 
(April 1887), reprinted in Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland 
[Norton Critical Edition], edited by Donald J. Gray (New 
York: W.W. Norton, 1971), 282. 

Charles L. Dodgson, M. A., Pillow-Problems: Thought out During 
Sleepless Nights [from Curiosa Mathematica, Part II] (London: 
Macmillan, 1893), ix. 

The Times, May 30, 1873, 5. 

Henry Holiday, "The Snark 's Significance," Ararf^n), January 
29, 1898, reprinted in Lewis Carroll and His Illustrators: Col- 
laborations and Correspondence, 1865-189S, edited by Morton 
N. Cohen and Edward Wakeling (New York: Cornell Univer- 
sity Press, 2003), 33. [On the page preceding their article on 
the Lewis Carroll Centenary Exhibition held in London (see 
Sanjay Sircar's article, p. 1 ) , " The Times claimed to be the first 
to print Holiday's Boojum drawing." See "Lewis Carroll / Ex- 
hibition Opened by "Alice" / Recollection of Dean of Christ 
Church," The Times (London), June 29, 1932, 16. -Ed.] 
Lewis Carroll, October 24, 1875, Wakeling, Diaries, 6:427. 
[Gardner may have misinterpreted Carroll when he wrote 
that he "records in his Diar)' on 24 October 1875 that he has 
the sudden notion of publishing the Snark as a Christmas 
poem" {Snark, 4). Surely, the diary entry shows that Carroll 
merely \vishes to publish at Christmas, "A sudden idea oc- 
curred, about which I wrote to Holiday and Macmillan, of 
publishing the Snark poem this Christmas...." He often fret- 
ted missing the Christmas market with Tenniel. -Ed.] [Being 
informed of this interpretation, the authors reply, "You may 
be correct that Carroll was referring to Christmas in purely 
economic and marketing terms. On the other hand, Carroll 
was an ordained Deacon and deeply religious, as Morton 
Cohen's 1995 biography makes clear It seems unlikely that 
Carroll was thinking of Christmas in purely economic terms 
regarding the publication of a poem that fundamentally 
concerns the problem of evil."] 



Tuuenty-First-Century Vieuus of Dodgson's Voting Method 


'^o emphasize how important the election pro- 
cedureis for the result of an election, Donald 
Saari, a preeminent voting theorist, spoofed 
in a recent article that he could come to your organi- 
zation, talk to its members and then design a voting 
procedure involving all candidates, which would elect 
3)0Mr designated candidate.' Since the American presi- 
dential election of 2000, many articles dealing with 
voting procedures have appeared, several of them fo- 
cusing on what today is known as Dodgson's Method. 
Dodgson described it in his 1876 pamphlet "A 
Method of Taking Votes on More Than Two Issues."-^ 
In a recent series of three articles,^ Thomas Ratliffe 
analyzed Dodgson's Method utilizing Saari's tech- 
niques that expose the essential differences between 
pairwise 2ind positional methods, the two fundamental 
categories of voting procedures. In a subsequent 
article, Saari and a colleague subjected Dodgson's 
Method to further analysis.^ Saari's geometric tech- 
niques allow him to explain all the paradoxes, cycles, 
conflicts, and discrepancies that can occur between 
positional and pairwise methods.'' 

Dodgson's Method selects the pairwise (Con- 
dorcet)'' winner, the candidate who beats every other 
in head-to-head comparisons. But when an election 
doesn't produce such a winner, Dodgson replaces 
the actual rankings of the candidates with the "clos- 
est" set of those rankings, that is, the set of rankings 
obtained by making the smallest number of adjacent 
changes in the individual rankings so that there will 
be a Condorcet winner. To illustrate his method 
(adapted from Ratliffe, "A Comparison of Dodgson's 
Method and Kemeny's Rule"), consider an election 
with 30 voters and 4 candidates: A, B, C, D. Assume 
10 voters rank the candidates in the order ABCD; 7 
voters rank them in the order CDBA; 3 rank them 
ADCB; 3 rank them DCAB; and 7 rank them BDAC. 
There is no Condorcet winner because a majority of 
16 voters prefer A to B, a majority of 17 voters prefer 
B to C, and a majority of 17 voters prefer C to D, but 
a majority of 17 voters prefer D to A creating a cycle. 
Dodgson's Method would replace the ABCD ranking 
of two voters with BACD, making B the Condorcet 

With the positional (Borda)' procedure, voters 
rank all the candidates by assigning each a number: 

for example, if there are three candidates, assign 3 
to your top-rated candidate, 2 to the one you next 
prefer, and 1 to the one you least prefer. The (group) 
rank assigned to each candidate is determined by 
summing the numbers from the individual ballots 
(the Borda count). Our familiar plurality voting 
method (winner take all) is a type of positional 
method whereby voters rank only their most pre- 
ferred candidate. 

In a 2004 article the economist Partha Dasgupta 
and the social scientist Eric Maskin described a vot- 
ing method, a compromise between pairwise and 
positional methods, that they claim is not only the 
fairest possible method, but also one that easily can 
be implemented." We have known since 1951, when 
Kenneth Arrow first published his landmark book, 
Social Choice and Individual Values, that no voting 
method is perfect. Arrow established the fundamen- 
tal principles that a voting procedure should satisfy. 
One of these is known as transitivity and the other 
as neutrality. Transitivity requires that if voters prefer 
candidate A to candidate B, and they prefer B to can- 
didate C, then A should be preferred to C. If a cycle 
occurs, as in the example above, the procedure does 
not satisfy the transitivity requirement. To meet the 
second condition, neutrality, a voting procedure must 
not favor one candidate over another, and the voters' 
choice between two candidates should not depend 
on how they view some third candidate.'' 

For example, consider the following possible 
rankings of the popular vote (adapted from Dasgupta 
and Maskin)'" in the 2004 American presidential 
election with just three candidates: Kerry, Bush, and 
Nader. Suppose each voter ranks them in one of 
these orders: Kerry-Bush-Nader, Bush-Kerry-Nader, 
Kerry-Nader-Bush. The pairwise (Condorcet) vot- 
ing procedure (which is transitive here and satisfies 
neutrality) represents the voters' intentions: Kerry is 
the winner because he is preferred to Bush and to 
Nader. But the positional (Borda) procedure will not 
represent the voters wishes because it does not satisfy 
neutrality. To see this, consider a possible scenario for 
the vote in this election: Suppose 51% rank Bush over 
Kerry over Nader, and 49% rank Kerry over Nader 
over Bush. Assume there are 100 voters. Then Kerry 
will win because his Borda count will be (51 X 2) + 


(49 X 3) = 249 to Bush's (51 X 3) + (49 X 1) = 202. 
But if instead, the 49% rank Kerry over Bush over 
Nader, then Bush will win because his Borda count is 
now (51 X 3) + (49 X 2) = 251. Even though 49% of 
voters gave Kerry and Bush the same ranking in both 
cases, the presence of a third candidate (Nader), who 
really can't win the election, has altered its outcome. 

We have seen that an unmodified Condorcet 
procedure can fail to satisfy transitivity, and an 
unmodified Borda procedure can fail to satisfy neu- 
trality. Dodgson's Method is a modified Condorcet 
procedure that does satisfy transitivity, but as Ratliffe 
showed, it will not satisfy neutrality." 

To accurately represent the wishes of voters, 
what voting procedure (for the popular vote) should 
be used? Clearly, our current procedure, plurality vot- 
ing, is very flawed because it permits a third candidate 
to unduly influence the election result. Dasgupta and 
Maskin recommend a hybrid: voters should rank all 
the candidates (assuming there are more than two). 
If no one candidate is preferred to all the others in 
head-to-head comparisons, i.e. there is no Condorcet 
winner, then the highest-ranked candidate given by 
the Borda count should be the winner. 

' Donald Saari, "Geometry of Chaotic and Stable Discussions," 
American Mathematical Monthly 111 , no. 5 (2004) , 377-93. 

Charles Dodgson, A Method of Taking Votes on More Than Two 
Issues ([Oxford?]: [(Clarendon Press?], 1876), reprinted in 
The Political Pamphlets and Letters of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson 
and Related Pieces, edited by Fran Abeles (New York: Lewis 
Carroll Society of North America, 2001 ), 46-58. 
Thomas Ratliffe, "Some Startling Inconsistencies When 
Electing Committees," Social Choice and Welfare 2] (2003), 
433-454; Thomas Ratliffe, "A Comparison of Dodgson's 
Method and the Borda Count," Economic Theory 20 (2002), 
357-372; Thomas Ratliffe, "A (Comparison of Dodgson's 
Method and Kemeny's Rule," Social Choice and Welfare 19 
(2001), 79-89. 

Donald Saari and S. Barney, "Consequences of Reversing 
Preferences," Mathematical Intelligencer 25, no. 4 (2003), 

Donald Saari, "Mathematical Structure of Voting Paradoxes: 
Pairwise Vote," Economic Theory 15 (2000), 1-53; Donald 
Saari, "Mathematical Structure of Voting Paradoxes: Posi- 
tional Voting," Economic Theory 15 (2000), 55-101. 
A method first proposed by the Marquis de Condorcet 

A method first proposed by Jean Charles Borda (1733-1799). 
Partha Dasgupta and Eric Maskin, "The Fairest Vote of All," 
Scientific American (March 2004), 92-97. 

Fran Abeles, "Kenneth O. May on Arrow and Group Choice," 
Proceedings of the Canadian Society for the History and Philosofihy 
of Mathematics 15 (2002), 1-8. 
Dasgupta and Maskin, "The Fairest Vote of All." 
Ratliffe, "A Comparison of Dodgson's Method and the Borda 


(Punch, August 4, 1871) 



Leaves /troo? 
tI?6 Deaneny Ganden 

In a word, the newly incarnated 
Knight Letter IS magnificent. The 
transformation of organization 
and content wrought by editors 
Mark and Matt, and Andrew's 
artistic contribution make this 
journal a pleasure to read. 

Fran Abeles 
Union, New Jersey 

On Jeopardy last night, a question 
in a category titled something 
like "19th Century Literature" 
mentioned the Mock Turtle 
and the Gryphon, the answer 
(question) being the first Alice 
book. The contestant answered 
(questioned) "What is Alice's 
Adventures in Wonderland?" 

There was a little pause. Alex 
looked over to the judges. The 
contestant looked over to the 
judges. Alex looked back at the 
contestant. The answer was ap- 
proved. Play continued. 

Of course, as all of you can 
probably guess, the answer Alex 
saw was "Alice in Wonderland' and 
not the full title the contestant 


What's right about ''Alice in 
Wonderland' and right about 
''Alice Through the Looking-Glass" 
and wrong about " The Portrait of 
Dorian Gray" (Wilde titled it "The 
Picture of...") is a close call, and if 
you don't mind, I would like to 
develop this thought further, but I 
hear the beeping of a fork-poked, 
microwaved chicken teriyaki... 

Matt Demakos 

Madison, New Jersey 


Would you be so kind and indul- 
gent as to let me in on some of 
the UK in-jokes in the new Firefly 
Wonderland illustrated by Ralph 
Steadman that you mentioned in 
your review {KL 72:36)? I'm dying 
of curiosity. 

Desne Ahlers 

San Francisco 

Among the then current in-jokes (pres- 
ent in the original editions), according 
to Alan White in the Lewis Carroll 
Review (Issue 26, October 2003), 

(-•; the man in the white paper suit 
(Disraeli in the Tenniel) is prime 
minister Edward Heath 

i^ the Cheshire Cat is Cliff Michel- 
more, a popular TY "presenter" 

f-T the cook may be actress Rita Tush- 

t^ the Duchess may be Barbara Cart- 
land but then, so might the dog 

i>^ the Hatter's notice "Can you come 
back next week?" was a TV game 
show (Beat the Clock) catch-phrase 

c-- The cook 's saucepan has a Design 
Council label of approval and 
comes from the same store as the 
Hatter's coffee pot 

t^ the Hare is wearing an MCC 
(Marylebone Cricket Club) tie 

Subsequently, an article entitled "A 
Brush with Surrealism " by R. M. 
Healey in Rare Book Review for Feb- 
ruary 2004 quotes Steadman as say- 
ing, "Wfien I illustrated Alice back in 
1967 1 saw the characters as figures to 
be transported 100 years fonvard. For 
instance, the White Rabbit zvas a com- 
muter, the Duchess was based on the 
actress Dandy Nichols, and the Mad 
Hatter had to be some awful quiz-show 
presenter. " 

3n itlemoriam 

Kay Rossman 

(1918 -April 5, 2004) 

Kathleen Walker Rossman has passed away at the age of 86. She was well known for her charitable 
work, particularly in the early years of the Literacy Volunteers of America. Kay's involvement with 
Carroll began when she bought the Cheshire Cat Gift Shop in Cazenovia, New York, in 1977, and 
became curious as to the origin of its name. She soon found our society, and became a long-time and 
most passionate member, showing up with her husband, Newell, former vice chancellor of Syracuse 
University, at most of our meetings. She also began a serious collection of Carrolliana, which 
continued after she sold the shop in 1982 and retired to Sarasota, Florida, in 1987. Her generous 
donation of her collection to the Bird Library of her alma mater, Syracuse University, in 1997 {KI. 
56:23, 58:13), serves interested students and researchers to this day. As a board member, she often 
prodded us to follow, in Wonderland fashion, Robert's Rules of Orders in our executive meetings. Her 
infectious enthusiasm will be sorely missed. 



(1936 -Nov 24,2003) 

Born in Odessa on August 21, 1936, Yulii Aleksandrovich Danilov became one of the greatest 
Russian mathematical physicists of his generation. After service in the Soviet army, he took his 
doctorate in mathematical physics at Moscow State University in 1963 and then joined the facult)' 
of the Kurchatov Institute for Physics in Moscow, where he remained for the rest of his life. He 
published numerous articles in journals of mathematics and physics, was awarded the Kepler Medal, 
translated over a hundred scientific books into Russian (including George Gamow's Mister Tomkins 
in Wonderland) , and was a leading member of the informal but extremely keen circle of CarroUians 
in Russia. His Carrollian works include a volume that contains translations of A Tangled Tale and 
Symbolic Logic together with many puzzles, letters, and other materials, published by Mmp (Mir) in 
1973, with illustrations by Yuri Vashchenko. An essay "A Physicist Reads Carroll" was published in the 
appendix of Nina Demurova's translations of Wonderland and Looking-Glass brought out by Havka 
(Nauka) in 1978. In 3hahme-Cm/IA (Znanie-Sila) he published an article on Lewis Carroll's Russian 
Journal. An article on "Lewis Carroll and his Puzzles" appeared in the mathematical journal Kbaht 
(Kvant), and his brilliant translation, also with illustrations by Vashchenko, of the late Peter Heath's 
The Philosopher's Alice remains to be brought out. He will be missed by scores of students in Russia, 
mathematicians around the world, and those CarroUians in Russia and in America, like the present 
writer, who were privileged to call him a friend. 

August A. Imholtz, Jr. 



Sir Peter Ustinov 

(1921 -March 21, 2004) 

The distinguished, beloved, and much-awarded actor, writer, and director Sir Peter Ustinov had 
many stellar highlights in his exemplary career. Being the Walrus in the 1999 special-effects fiasco 
calling 'iXs,e\i Alice in Wonderland, starring Tina Majorino, Whoopie Goldberg, and so on was not one 
of them. 



Ravings j:koo) ihe Wmring Desk 


In case you missed our recent meeting at the Hough- 
ton Library at Harvard in Cambridge — and you 
missed a good one — please read the thorough syn- 
opsis earher in this issue. From my point of view, the 
meeting was a grand success, and based on emails, ap- 
parently many of the attendees felt the same. I want 
to especially thank Peter Accardo 
of the Rare Book Department for 
being our host. Mr. Accardo made 
sure that everything we needed was 
in place, including the room and 
the multimedia equipment. He also 
arranged for some key items from 
the Harcourt Amory collection to 
be out on display, which was a spe- 
cial treat for attendees. I also want 
to thank Rachel Howarth for mak- 
ing the facilities available to us. 

Our meetings are getting more 
hi-tech each time: Three of the five 
presentations, plus the introduc- 
tory remarks, were projected using 
computer-based slides. Selwyn Goo- 
dacre, who is surely known to all 
Carrollians, used digital images of 
all 42 Tenniel pictures from Alice's 
Adventures to illustrate, so to speak, 
his excellent talk. As did Charlie Lovett, with digital 
images scanned from many interesting books that 
Carroll had on his own shelves. I want to thank all 
of the speakers: Anashia Plackis, Will Brooker, Rick 
Lake, Selwyn Goodacre, and Charlie Lovett for put- 
ting together a thought-provoking, educational, and 
entertaining set of talks. And, for those in attendance, 
Charlie Lovett brought a very well-produced handout 
representing the original issues of The Jabberxvock, a 
publication by the Girls Latin School in Boston (very 
apropos our meeting venue). Will Brooker had auto- 
graphed copies of his new book for sale, and Selwyn 
Goodacre distributed a little gem of a bibliographical 

At the marathon Board of Directors meeting 
on Friday night, many subjects were discussed. We 
learned of the passing of Kay Rossman, a long-time 
Society member and avid Carrollian collector. I knew 
Kay from the very first meeting I attended twenty 

years ago, and I know we will all miss her dearly. We 
discussed upcoming meetings: mark your calen- 
dars for October 23, when we will meet at the Arne 
Nixon Center in Fresno, California. Robert Sabuda, 
well-known pop-up book artist/engineer will be our 
featured speaker. Watch for an August mailing with 
all the details. Angelica Carpenter, 
LCSNA Board member, is organiz- 
ing a great meeting with lots of 

Spring 2005 will find us in 
New York city, and the fall conclave 
(currently scheduled for Octo- 
ber 15, 2005) will take us to Des 
Moines, Iowa, where a month-long 
series of events relating to Lewis 
Carroll and Alice will surround our 
meeting! The Iowa Arts Council and 
Cultural Affairs Bureau is back- 
ing this program, which includes 
a retrospective of member Mary 
Kline-Misol's Carroll-inspired art- 
work. I encourage everyone to plan 
ahead for these upcoming meet- 

The Board also approved a pro- 
cess for accepting grant proposals 
to assist authors in publishing a Carroll-related book 
when the Society does not choose to publish it our- 
selves. The funding from the Society is not meant to 
cover all expenses, but rather to serve as one source 
of assistance for authors not otherwise able to pub- 
lish. Details of the publications grant process will be 
posted to our Web site before the next meeting, and 
will be reported in these pages. 

Speaking of Society publications, on behalf 
of the entire membership of the LCSNA, I wish to 
thank Charlie Lovett for his leadership of the Publi- 
cations Committee for the past ten years. Charlie will 
continue to serve as the editor of the Pamphlet Series 
(three volumes to go), but other commitments make 
it necessary for him to step down as publications 
chair. Contrariwise, Mark Burstein, after his ten 
years, is continuing as editor-in-chief of the fine pub- 
lication you are holding in your hands. Along with 
Matthew Demakos as a co-editor, and some profes- 


sional layout and design skill from Andrew Ogus, the 
Knight Letter gets, better with each issue. 

Finally, you may have noticed that the Society 
is now accepting online payment for meetings and 
membership dues, vising PayPal. This free and secure 
payment system will be expanded in the near future to 
pay for the Society-published books in our inventory. 
We plan to make the process easy by having forms on 
our Web site, but in the interim, you can simply use 
the PayPal account to send 
money to the Society and save the time and expense 
of an envelope and postage. We also accept major 
credit cards through PayPal. 

See you in California! 

Kjrk: We're not leaving until 
McCoy is released. 

Parmen: This isn't the Enterprise. 
You are not in command, captain. 

Philana: Why discuss it? Get rid 
of them. 

Parmen: No, my dear. That might 
offend the good doctor. You wish 
to stay? By all means. You can 
help us celebrate our anniversary. 
In the process, I hope we can 
persuade you to join our tiny 

McCoy: You won't persuade me. 

Parmen: I think we will. 

Kirk (singing): "I'm Tweedledee, 
he's Tweedledum," 

Spock:"Two spacemen marching 
to a drum." 

Kirk & Spock: "We slither among 

the mimsy toves 
And gyre among the borogoves." 

The Star Trek (original series) episode 
6^, "Plato 's Stepchildren, " aired No- 
vember 22, ig68, and featured this 
abysmally sung duet. The episode itself 
has a place in history for containing 
the first-ever interracial kiss — be- 
tween Kirk and Uhura while under 
telekenetic influence — to be shown on 
American network television. 

Both Mr Shatner and Mr. Nimoy 
produced dreadful albums of their 
"singing" during this era. Their in- 



imitable vocalizing is available in the 
compilation CD Golden Throats: 
The Great Celebrity Sing-Off 
(Rhino, ig88), the original LP al- 
bums (Shatner's The Transformed 
Man, icf68; The Two Sides of 
Leonard Nimoy and his The Way I 
Feel, both 1^68) and all over the Net 
wherever horrid singing is celebrated. 
Shatner's rendition of "Lucy in the Sky 
with Diamonds " must be heard to be 

Eli Cross (Peter O'Toole) to 
Cameron (Steve Railsback): Now 
listen to me: That door is the 
looking-glass, and inside it is 
Wonderland. Have faith, Alice, 
close your eyes and enjoy . . . 

The Stunt Man (1980) 


© 1998 Carol Borzyskoivski 

Reprinted by permission. This work 
previously appeared in the American Poehj 

Black, cold, narrow 

as a grave, 

I didn't see the hole — 

didn't look before I stepped 


Long, long I fell 

past shards 
empty as plastic 
champagne glasses, 
past deflated balloons 
pink and yellow, 
past a magician's 
empty black hat 
dead rabbit, 

and curiouser. 

Past the touch of your lips 
brushing my neck — 
a silver moth in flames, 
onto barren lunar landscape 
I stopped. 

And Alice, 

it's true what they say 
it's not the fall 
that kills you. 



The dazzling Wonderland 
illustrations of lassen Ghiuselev, 
once the province of a German- 
language edition {KL 65:21) 
and now available in an English 
edition from Simply Read Books 
{KL 72:47), have an ancillary 
treasure. One can now purchase 
the monochrome poster (the 
whole story in one image!) from for $35. 
The English edition itself includes 
many newly commissioned 
illustrations that were not in 
the original German edition. 
Wonderland wsis also published in 
Taiwan in a square format, and 
it seems that there will soon be 
editions in Japanese and Spanish. 
Happily, Ghiuselev has also been 
commissioned by Simply Read to 
do a Looking-Glass for publication 
in the winter of 2006. The 
American Institute of Graphic 
Artists (AIGA) has awarded this 
volume a place in its prestigious 
2004 "50 Books/50 Covers" show. 

^VS a^3 ^ 


The Art and Flair of Alary Blair: 

An Appreciation 

John Canemaker (Disney Editions, 


For Alice in Wonderland, "a proj- 
ect that had fascinated and con- 
founded Disney since his earliest 
days as a filmmaker," one of his 
major hurdles was in the design 
and overall look of the film. 
Having tried and rejected David 
Hall's work {KL 68:2 footnote), he 
turned to one of his favorite art- 
ists, Mary Blair. Her joyful palette 
and concepts for costumes, props, 
characters, and staging were both 
incorporated — and altered — into 
the finished product. A nine-page 
section of this book is rich in illus- 
trations of how she was (and was 
not) subsumed. The rest of this 
handsome volume is replete with 
a colorful carnival of her playful 

paintings and drawings, and the 
story of her life and art. 


Sarah Adams 

Alice's Adventures: Lewis Carroll in 

Popular Culture 

Will Brooker, Continuum (2004) 

Will Brooker, researcher of 
popular culture of the late 
twentieth century and author 
of books on Star Wars fans and 
Batman, seems at first to be an 
unlikely person to write about 
Alice 2Lnd Lewis Carroll. However, 
it is his outsider status as someone 
familiar with the books yet not 
a "fan" that lends him a unique 
ability to analyze from within. 
As he states in his preface, Alice's 
Adventures: Lexois Carroll in Popular 
Culture is as much about Brooker's 
own process of becoming a "fan" 
of the Alice books, as it is about 
how Alice affects popular culture. 

Many LCSNA members may 
think to skip over the first chap- 
ter, dealing as it does with recent 
(1990-2003) biographies of Lewis 
Carroll. Brooker, however, creates 
a fascinating analysis of what we 
know about Carroll at this time. 
He compares how biographies 
written by Bakewell, Cohen, and 
Leach (and, to a lesser extent, 
Thomas, Stoffel, Bjork, Wakeling, 
Jones, and Gladstone) each treat 
the four aspects of Carroll's life 
about which there are so many 
questions: the "golden afternoon," 
the censorship of his diaries, the 
guilty prayers in his diary, and the 
photographs of nude children. 

Three distinct pictures 
of Carroll emerge. ... We 
have Bakewell 's blurry 
double-exposure of a 
fundamentally innocent 
figure who may have 
harbored sexual urges but 
barely understood them; 
Cohen's man of intense 
but unusual passions, 
rigidly controlled and 
internally fired up; and 
Leach's portrait of the 
author as shockingly 
"normal" in his desires 
but hiding them behind 
a myth of celibate child- 
Brooker pulls no punches — 
while obviously drawn to Leach's 
theories, he points out as many 
inconsistencies and errors in her 
work as he does with Cohen and 
Bakewell. Perhaps we should all 
keep in mind his conclusion: Each 
viewpoint of this man's life is sim- 
ply a rearrangement of a limited 
number of facts, fleshed out with 
imagination, supposition, and 

A discussion of Carroll and Alice 
in the media points out that while 
biographers bring new informa- 
tion about their subjects to fans 
and academics, it is journalists 
who are the conveyors of knowl- 
edge (true or perceived) to the 
general public. Unfortunately, it is 
a never-ending cycle: Lewis Carroll 
is "news" due to the questions sur- 
rounding his life, so every article 
discusses his life as questionable. 

There are as many questions 
surrounding the books as there 
are surrounding the man. Are 
the Alice books a "light-hearted 
dreamworld" of "pretty nonsense," 
a Freudian "allegory of growing 
up," a "nightmarish journey to be 
survived," a parody of British poli- 
tics, a burlesque of Oxford society, 
a reflection of Carroll/Dodgson's 
schizophrenic tendencies, an ex- 
tended death metaphor, or a pe- 
dophile's love song to a little girl? 
Again, Brooker's analysis doesn't 


so much give us answers as show us 
why the "experts" don't have the 
answers either: So much depends 
on your age, your era, and what 
you are looking to find. 

Chapters on illustrating Alice, 
parodies and 'Turther adventures 
of," movies, and video game adap- 
tations are particularly informa- 
tive, again even for people familiar 
with the material. In addition to 
a short discussion of early illustra- 
tors, Brooker compares Tenniel 
and Carroll's illustrations with 
those of Arthur Rackham, Mervyn 
Peake, Lisbeth Zwerger, Helen 
Oxenbury, and DeLoss McGraw. 
This discussion inspired an en- 
joyable afternoon with all seven 
books open and surrounding 
me as I compared illustrations. 
Detailed summaries of "sequels" 
were interesting, while giving 
me the impression that I hadn't 
missed much by not reading them 
previously. A comparison of key 
narrative elements of six film and 
television adaptations of Alice left 
me amazed at how easily the story 
can be adapted to invoke different 
moods: It is almost unbelievable 
that Disney's brightly colored, 
perky and musical cartoon was 
derived from the same source as 
Jan Svankmajer's haunting stop- 
motion animation of skeletal and 
taxidermied animals. 

A detailed chapter devoted 
to Ameyican McGee's Alice com- 
puter game, and the fan websites 
thereof, shows just how far the 
idea of a "Dark Wonderland" can 

be taken. Alice, comatose in a 
mental institution after the ac- 
cidental death of her family, must 
return to a Wonderland under the 
control of the evil Red Queen in 
order to free her mind from its 
emotional trauma. Carrying what 
appears to be a bloody butcher's 
knife, she encounters dark and 
twisted versions of well-known 
characters on her journey to de- 
stroy the Jabberwock and the Red 
Queen's rule. Amazingly, the fan 
sites take the ideas even further, 
creating artwork, short stories, and 
poetry based on the game. 

In his chapter on fans, Brooker 
describes the typical Lewis Carroll 
Society (UK) member as conser- 
vatively dressed, well-mannered, 
over the age of fifty, and highly 
educated with a tendency towards 
a correct and slightly archaic form 
of speech and writing. Despite this 
appearance of academia, he goes 
on to make the worthy point that 
members of the LCS are seeking 
to fulfill the same needs as the 
members of a Star Trek, X-Files, or 
any other fan group: the finding 
or building of a community; the 
collection of arcana; debate; mak- 
ing "pilgrimages"; performance as 
a way of sharing knowledge; and 
curatorship. In addition to events 
that he covers as a member of the 
LCS, Brooker also includes a "per- 
sonal selection" of "pilgrimage" 
sites, of both historical (Carroll's 
birthplace) and popular interest 
("Alice's Curious Labyrinth" at 
Disneyland Paris). 

HAMSTER ALLEY by Polly Keener 

On the subject of curatorship, the 
LCS is particularly notable in that 
many of the foremost experts on 
Carroll are members, in addition 
to descendants of both Dodgson 
relatives and of Alice Hargreaves, 
thus giving it a certain amount of 
authority and power that most fan 
groups lack. 

While it is true that Alice\s a 
quintessentially English book, 
there is a truly international love 
for it. Particularly in this age of 
Internet and international media, 
it is difficult to limit the discus- 
sion to just one country, and thus 
a Swedish biography, American 
novels and video games, and a 
Czech movie are included. Brook- 
er's explanation of why he chose 
to limit his search of newspaper 
articles and Internet sites to those 
from Britain (a wider search would 
be huge and unmanageable) is 
reasonable, but his focus on only 
the British society is a bit frustrat- 
ing. A comparison with the North 
American and Japanese societies 
would have been interesting: Do 
the generalizations about LCS 
members apply to these societies 
as well, or is there a different de- 
mographic, and why? Why is Alice 
so appealing to the Japanese that 
they travel around the world to 
visit Daresbury? 

Alice's Adventures: Lexuis Carroll 
in Popular Culture is an interesting, 
multifaceted analysis of both what 
is currently known about Lewis 
Carroll and his books, and how 
these stories and images 


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have been interpreted by today's 
society in movies, Internet sites, 
video games, comic books, and 
amusement parks. Despite a some- 
what British focus, I recommend 
this book to any fan of Carroll's 
books, whether knowledgeable 
or not, due to the comprehensive 
and unbiased overview of current 
Carrollian studies, as well as the 
discussion of how Alice's adven- 
tures continue to intrigue and 


Sarah Adams 

The Problem of the Surly Servant: 
A Charles Dodgson/ Arthur Conan 
Doyle Mystery 

Roberta Rogow (St. Martin's 
Minotaur, 2001) 

While visiting Charles Dodgson 
in Oxford, Arthur Conan Doyle 
and his wife, "Touie," discover 
the body of a thieving scout. 
Then the threatened exposure 
of a childhood nude photograph 
brings an undergraduate of one 
of the new women's colleges to 
Mr. Dodgson to request assistance. 
These two events intertwine 
with college boat racing, illegal 
boxing matches, town versus 
gown infighting, and the classism 
inherent in Victorian society, 
as Dodgson, Doyle, and Touie 
assist both the city police and the 
university officials in solving the 

This is the fourth book in the 
Charles Dodgson/Arthur Conan 
Doyle mystery series by Roberta 
Rogow, and the problems of the 
previous books that have been dis- 
cussed by other reviewers (KL 57: 
23, ii^ 61:16, /;X 62:1 1, XL 64:21) 
are carried on in this one. While 
the Victorian settings are meticu- 
lously researched, the mystery is 
easily solved and the characters 
are rather shallow: Dodgson is 
elderly and prissy, Doyle is young 
and bouncy. Touie is the most 
clearly developed of 

the characters, and actually ends 
up solving the mystery. Alice Har- 
greaves appears briefly, as does 
Dean Liddell, who amusingly real- 
izes that in order to have the inci- 
dents cleared up without scandal 
to Christ Church, he must forbid 
Dodgson to investigate, knowing 
that Dodgson's dislike of him will 
prompt him to disobey. 

At our Spring 2001 meeting in Neiu 
York fKL 66:2-5), Ms. Rogoio gave a 
talk, "Mr. Dodgson of Christ Church, " 
to the LCSNA and didn 't even men- 
tion her oiun books! - Ed. 


Daniel Singer 

Walt Disney had longed for years 
to produce an animated film ver- 
sion of Lewis Carroll's stories. In 
1951, at a cost of some $3 mil- 
lion, Disney's energetic, colorful, 
tuneful Alice in Wonderland yN-a^ 
released — but despite advertising 
on the relatively new medium of 
television and the publicity from a 
nast)' legal battle that tried to pre- 
vent a rival film from opening at 
the same time, Disney's A/?V:<? failed 
miserably at the box office and 
was quickly swept into the studio's 
vault. Walt was saddened by its 
failure; unlike his other features, 
which were released theatrically 
every seven years, Alice w^i% allowed 
to be shown on television and 
rented by schools on 16 mm — 
until its associations with mind-al- 
tering drugs in the 1960s banished 
it into hiding. A/eVi? returned to the 
wide screen in 1974, drawing mod- 
est audiences. Following a final re- 
lease to theaters in 1981 it became 
available on home video, where its 
qualities were finally appreciated 
by a large mainstream audience, 
helping it to become one of the 
best-selling children's videos of the 

Now you can enjoy Disney's 
Alice in Wonderland at home with 
the newly-released two-disc "Mas- 
terpiece Edition" DVD. Those who 
like the film (many despise 

Walt's Americanized, vaudevillian 
adaptation) will be delighted that 
it has been dusted off and trotted 
out so elegantly 53 years after its 
initial release. The film remains 
a superb example of animation 
art: masterfully drawn, styled, and 
colored, and full of clever details 
and amusing vocal performances. 
Highlights include: Alice's grace- 
ful descent down a Dali-esque rab- 
bit-hole; the charming Doorknob 
that tries to help headstrong Alice 
in her quest to get through the 
locked door; a completely surreal 
(though re-written) rendition of 
"The Walrus and the Carpenter;" 
Alice's sneeze sending Bill the Liz- 
ard up the chimney and into obliv- 
ion; a sumptuous Garden of Live 
Flowers; a hilariously stoned Cater- 
pillar who illustrates his dialogue 
with smoke rings; card characters 
that are actually flat; and the most 
maddeningly mischievous flamin- 
goes and hedgehogs that any Alice 
has ever wrangled. You'd think 
the Disney animators were high 
as kites when they turned Alice's 
dream into a nightmare in which 
she has to run through a twisted, 
melting Wonderland to get back to 
the riverbank — you can clearly see 
why the film's popularity with ston- 
ers gave it an unsavory reputation. 
The overall effect of Disney's hy- 
peractive adaptation is somewhat 
obnoxious and exhausting — but 
it's loaded with charm, humor, 
and artistry. Just try not to think of 
Carroll's gloriously superior text 
while you're watching it. 

But wait, folks, there's more! 
See "Uncle Walt" introducing the 
film on his television show in 1954 
and '64! See Alice's Wonderland, 
Walt's 1923 breakthrough silent 
film with which he founded his 
Los Angeles animation studio. See 
the delightful 1936 Mickey Mouse 
cartoon Thru the Mirror. See One 
Hour in Wonderland, Walt's first 
foray into television, and several 
other early TV shows that adver- 
tised the film, all featuring young 
Katherine Beaumont (the voice of 


Alice), whom Walt was constantly 
trotting out in a blue dress and 
pinafore. See present-day Kath- 
erine Beaumont introducing a 
song that was deleted from the 
final film. And children will enjoy 
singing along with their favorite 
songs and playing the interac- 
tive games — and there's even a 
little card game thrown into the 
DVD case as well. There's plenty 
here for kids and grown-up fans 
to enjoy. The archival material is 
rarely seen nowadays, so it's a treat 
to have it available in this handy 

The digitally restored and re- 
mastered print makes this Alice 
the best-looking home-video 
release ever, with exceptionally 
bright and detailed picture and 
sound. A center-speaker channel 
has been added for 5.1 surround. 
The cover art and new graphics 
are gorgeous. It's nice to see the 
Disney Studio produce a gem like 
this in the midst of their latter-day 



Ruth Berman 

An unusual fantasy classic with a 
small Alice tie-in has come back 
into print. (Originally, it came 
out in 1949 from E. P. Dutton, 
and had a couple of paperback 
editions in the 1980s, but those 
are all a good while back, and are 
rare or getting rare.) Silverlock by 
John Myers Myers is a comic voy- 
age of a stolid, practical man (at 
least, he's always assumed he was 
stolid and practical) through a 
place called the Commonwealth, 
which is utterly unfamiliar to him. 
The reader soon notices that it 
is a commonwealth of literature, 
and every place and person in it 
is either directly from literature 
or is a composite of related types. 
One chapter has him getting a 
meal from an irritating man oddly 
dressed in Victorian clothes and 
his equally irritating friends who 

are in a rabbit costume and some 
kind of a rodent costume. Silver- 
lock is baffled by their nonsensical 
insistence on exact precision of 
language, and their insistence that 
they are not really open to serve 
meals at all hours of the day or 
night — it's just that it's always the 
hour of teatime for them. 

The new edition is from the 
New England Science Fiction 
Association's NESFA Press, PO 
Box 809, Framingham MA 01701. 
Price is $26 plus postage. See 

I had a hand — well, more like 
a "fingertip" — in this edition, as it 
reprints a lot of extra items (but 
nothing of Carroll interest in the 
extras) , including music that fans 
have composed for some of the 
songs in the story, and including 
the five lines that I added to "Friar 
John's Song" to complete the verse 
that gets interrupted. Besides the 
music, the extras are new and 
reprinted essays on Silverlock, data 
on Myers, and a guide to the works 
that show up in the journey. 

An online guide to the luork is found 
at toww. speakeasy. org/~anitra/ 
commonivealth/refindex.html. - Ed. 



Sarah Adams 

Alice in Vivaldi's Four Seasons.- The 

Music Game 

Music Games International 

Alice xuent out for a walk, and 
walked into a music clock. 
■ But the clock went [sigh] and broke. 

Now she's caught inside, no joke. 

How ivill Alice get out? That, my 
friend, is ivhat this game is all 
about. . . 

Play to unlock the music clock. 

When Alice picks up the White 
Rabbit's pocket watch and it 
breaks, she is trapped inside this 
slightly surreal game. You must 
help her solve twelve musical 
puzzles to fix the watch and return 
home. A white-and-pink-striped 
Cheshire Cat narrator provides 

instructions and help, disappears 
leaving his grin behind, then 
reappears to deliver another 
bon mot (sometimes a quote 
from Alice, sometimes an Alice- 
like rhyme, sometimes a line of 
instruction involving puns such as 
"purrrcussion") . 

The game consists of twelve 
puzzles: one for each piece of 
Vivaldi's music, which corresponds 
both to a month and to an hour 
of the clock. Points are counted as 
seconds and minutes of time, and 
collected in an hourglass watched 
over by various Alice characters 
such as the mad Hatter, Mock 
Turtle, White Rabbit, a pig in a 
baby bonnet, and a frog in a wig. 
Even children too young to be 
familiar with Alice W\\\ get a giggle 
out of the animals in period dress 
playing musical instruments, such 
as a bewigged hippo playing a 
harp and the two mice necessaiy 
to play the double bass. 

The Cheshire Cat's verbal in- 
structions are not always entirely 
clear, but most of the games are 
easily figured out (if not necessar- 
ily easy to win) and the written in- 
structions are just a click away. The 
first eleven puzzles vary from ac- 
tivities that aren't actually games, 
such as viewing an instrument 
encyclopedia and listening to the 
music for each month, to versions 
of the well-known games of Memory 
and Tetris, to the creative puzzle 
in which the player must help 
Alice get out of the White Rabbit's 
house by matching an original 
Four Seasons piece with a musical 
piece played with different instru- 
ments, tempo, or style. 

Nearly all of the puzzles involve 
active listening in some way. While 
most of the puzzles can be easily 
completed, several have additional 
levels where the play becomes 
quite difficult. Of particular 
complexity are the several games 
in which the player must match 
sounds or pieces of music or iden- 
tify instruments playing, some- 
thing that nonmusicians are 


seldom called upon to do. How- 
ever, this does give the player a 
fascinating look into how a sym- 
phony is put together. 

The twelfth puzzle is cleverly 
hidden as eleven pieces within 
the other puzzles. Each puzzle has 
a picture and music that can be 
manipulated before going on to 
the actual play. Three dials with 
four options each change the 
background picture/percussion, 
foreground/ tempo, and details/ 
instruments. Finding the silent 
option on each dial presents you 
with both a scene from Alice znd 
the entire Four Seasons piece for 
that month. 

The game is recommended for 
children six and older, though 
a young child would most likely 
benefit by playing with a parent. 
Fortunately, the intricacies of the 
game mean that not only will the 
adult enjoy helping, but will most 
likely keep playing long after the 
child has run off to another proj- 
ect. Nor is a child necessary at all! 

Order from www.KidsMusic 


Robert Arnold Hall 

My libretto for Mrs. Carroll's Alice, 
a multimedia mini-chamber 
opera, is drawn freely, with artistic 
license, from episodes in the two 
Alice books. My selections from 
the stories are intended to bring 
out the aspects that give it such 
universal meaning and appeal. 
The genius of Lewis Carroll re- 
sides in how he shows us ourselves. 
Capturing this in music, image, 
and sound has been my guiding 
concept. Alice is catapulted into 
an unknown world, full of novel 
experiences, many of which are of 
a challenging, always confusing, 
sometimes hostile nature. She is 
barraged with verbal contradic- 
tions and insults. In her profound 
innocence, she struggles to make 
sense of, and come to terms with it 
all, and does cope. This is really 

the story of the ontological strug- 
gle of every human being: Begin- 
ning as infants, we all struggle to 
make sense of strangeness, to sift 
sense out of nonsense, order out 
of chaos, to find meaning and our 
place in this confounding, double- 
speak, wonderland world. This is 
the universal human drama, from 
cradle to grave. We all go down 
the rabbit hole. 

The music is intended to am- 
plify and support this drama. 
Largely tonal and accessible to a 
potentially huge audience, but 
musically interesting enough to 
engage Carroll aficionados as 
well as others who know and love 
his works. Identifying signature 
themes are associated with each 
character. Accompanied by piano 
alone, two mezzos and a soprano 
speak and sing multiple roles, the 
principal ones being Alice and 
her mother. Some may object, but 
I feel that if Dodgson can create 
Lewis Carroll, I can, for artistic 
purposes, give him a wife to speak 
and sing as his narrator, and make 
Alice their daughter. I cherish the 
belief that he would approve! The 
performers, in black leotards and 
wigs and masks representative of 
each character, will appear spot- 
lighted on a dark stage, singing 
and acting their various roles. 

In its rather unusual multime- 
dia thrust, this work integrates the 
arts of libretto writing, music, act- 
ing, image-making, mask making, 
and sound design. The project 
enjoys the fiscal sponsorship of the 
Bay Area Video Coalition, a prime 
promoter of a wide variety of many 
art media since 1947. A grant from 
the American Composers Forum 
has funded the art work, and other 
funding is being sought for a pre- 
mier at the theater of the Califor- 
nia Palace of the Legion of Honor 
in San Francisco in April 2005. 

Mark Streshinsky, a staff direc- 
tor of the San Francisco Opera, 
was stage director of a similar 
— ^very stunning and successful — 
multimedia production of the 

Wagner Ringlegend condensed to 
one evening and performed by the 
Berkeley (California) Opera. He 
and Jeremy Knight, who handled 
the technical end, will bring their 
skills and experience to our pro- 
duction. Art work is by Christine 
Desrosiers of San Francisco (www., one of whose 
pictures is below) . There will be 
about a dozen basic color images. 

Secondary images, including ani- 
mations, will be morphed by using 
computer technology. Using a 
computer-controlled large-format 
data projector, these illustrative 
images will be shown, along with 
soimd effects, at significant points 
in the performance. John Geiger, 
a sound designer from San Fran- 
cisco (, 
will provide the sound effects. 
Annie Hatten of Berkeley 
( will 
make the masks. Some episodes 
will be done as shadow theater. 
Together, all these media will 
make feasible the presentation of 
such events as changes in Alice's 
size and movement which would 
be extremely difficult and costly, if 
possible, to stage in conventional 
opera. With these features and 
only four performers, this work 
could be performed, with little 
financial risk, for small and diverse 
audiences in small venues, and 
especially for audiences less cultur- 
ally and economically privileged 
than those who can afford opera 
ticket prices. Live performance or 
a video recording could be 


presented in schools, where it 
will have educational value, and 
it could be used for opera out- 
reach programs and television. 
This work will shine the light of 
Carroll's genius in rarely, if ever, 
touched corners. 

Anyone wanting to help de- 
fray the costs of production can 
make tax-deductible contribu- 
tions through the Bay Area Video 
Coalition, my nonprofit fiscal 
sponsor ( 
sponsorship/support_form.htm) . 

The budget is significant, 
though small for an opera. It ex- 
cludes any compensation for my 
efforts in writing the libretto and 
music, and producing, and hardly 
any for my enthusiastic and dedi- 
cated artist. 

More information and excerpts 
of the music are available on and I would be 
happy to answer any questions at or 16162 
Lilac Lane, Los Gatos CA 95032, 


Sarah Adams 

On the evening of Wednesday, 
June 9, a group of adults gathered 
at a children's bookstore for a 
tea party. Several LCSNA mem- 
bers, including Andrew Ogus, 
were spotted in the audience. In 
California for the Children's Lit- 
erature Association conference 
in Fresno (p. 45), John Docherty, 
Editor/Librarian and Secretary 
of the George MacDonald Society 
at the British Library and author 
of The Literary Products of the Leivis 
Carroll-George MacDonald Friendship, 
spoke on Wonderland at Hickle- 
bee's Children's Book Emporium. 
He discussed how Wonderland is 
an Easter story in that Alice's jour- 
ney follows the spiritual journey, 
undertaken by Christians, known 
as the Imitation of Christ. Mr. 
Docherty illustrated his talk with 
enlarged versions of Carroll's and 
Tenniel's illustrations, slides of me- 

dieval paintings, and many refer- 
ences to Blake and Dante. At the 
end of his fascinating talk, tea was 
served, along with scones, cream 
puffs, and small pecan tartlets. 

Hicklebee's (www.hicklebees. 
com) is a wonderful children's 
bookstore located in the down- 
town Willow Glen district of San 
Jose, California. 



Gregory Williams 

Alice in the Shadoivs, part of the 
"Celebrate Puppetry Through 
Shadows" festival at Tierra Del Sol, 
Shadow Hills, California, April 24. 

When the audience arrived for the 
performance of Maria Bodmann's 
Alice in the Shadows, some brought 
folding chairs and blankets. These 
supplemented the ones laid out 
for them by the artist, who had 
also placed paperback copies of 
Wonderland around the area. This 
was to be a performance that fully 
reveled in Carroll's words and 
characters, and the audience was 
encouraged to follow. 

The shadow screen, gaily fes- 
tooned with flowers around its 
perimeter, looked like something 
you'd see at an outdoor movie. 
This, it turned out, was totally 
appropriate as the show took on 
aspects of film animation, with 
the screen containing the charac- 
ters and story. The artist had also 
placed a section of chairs on each 
side behind the screen, inviting 
the audience to watch the perfor- 
mance from "backstage." What 
a curious way to set up a shadow 

It turns out that the shadow 
artist, Maria Bodmann, was incor- 
porating shadow-play traditions 
from Indonesia, where she studied 
as a Fulbright scholar. In Indone- 
sia, the audience is encouraged to 
watch the performance from both 
sides of the shadow screen. Having 
performed traditional Balinese 
shadow shows with her partner, 
musician Cliff DeArment, for sev- 

eral years, Bodmann created Alice 
as her first nontraditional story 
interpreted in ancient shadow 
puppetry. For the Balinese shadow 
shows, DeArment leads a troupe 
of gamelan players. For Alice, he 
leads a band of electric guitars 
and a drum, again set up directly 
behind the shadow artist in the 
traditional style. 

The pre-show music gave 
the first glimmer that this Alice 
would take us to the psychedelic 
world first encountered cultur- 
ally in the '60s. The incense that 
Bodmann fired up at the start of 
the proceedings only added to 
that feeling. Once the shadows 
hit the screen, the movement of 
the characters meshed perfectly 
with Jefferson Airplane songs that 
blended equally well with Carroll's 
surreal story. 

Bodmann has kept the show 
true to Carroll's text, aside from 
incidental ad libs that add im- 
mediacy to the proceedings. She 
does, however, pull the book into 
three separate episodes, arrang- 
ing flashbacks to other sections of 
the story. This installment we saw 
in Sunland dealt with the last part 
of the book. No worry, however, 
we did get to see the White Rabbit 
go down his hole in a flashback 
Alice recounts to her Wonderland 

As a performer, Maria Bod- 
mann stands out for her character 
manipulation and voice work. She 
handles comedy with a flair and, 
as the only performer behind the 
screen, voices every single charac- 
ter in a distinct fashion. Her Alice 
has just the right mix of innocence 
and spunkiness to offset the insan- 
ity of the rest of the characters. 
From the Queen of Hearts to 
the mad Hatter, Bodmann inter- 
changes voices as adeptly as she 
changes her puppets. Truly, her 
audio part of the show is as superb 
as the visuals. (She does have two 
assistants on either side of her to 
handle the many characters and 
set pieces that come on and off 
the screen.) 


The lighting was equally excel- 
lent. At times, special lighting 
effects filled the screen with ever- 
changing amoebas of color and 
shape. Bodmann's adept use of 
shadow puppets created believable 
morphing as Alice made her star- 
ding physical mutations. 

The success of any show is mea- 
sured by the audience response. In 
Sunland, the audience thoroughly 
enjoyed the show. The under-ten 
crowd seemed as transfixed as 
the adults. One little girl perched 
upright in her mother's lap for 
the entire performance; the smile 
never left her face. Two brothers, 
eight and six, made sure to run 
behind the screen at every effect 
and transition to enjoy both sides 
of the performance. How perfect 

is a show that allows children to 
run circles around it; they never 
get restless. 

It will be interesting to see the 
future installments of Bodmann's 
Alice in the Shadows. To be sure, 
I will arrive early with my blanket, 
beach chair and a cooler full of 

Ms. Bodmann 's delightful show was 
a highlight of the fall '98 Society meet- 
ing in Los Angeles, and has been seen 
in many venues since, as readers of 
"Far-Flung" know. Her Web site is; check therefor 
upcoming performances. 

Two of Bodmann 's puppets. 

carrollian Notes 



In "The Gag Writer" {KI. 72:26) 
panels 4 and 5 were regrettably in 
reverse order. 


"Then it's down the rabbit hole, 
through the looking glass, and 
into never-never land with lots of 
music inspired by Lewis Carroll's 
two Alice novels." ~ blurb on for the David Gar- 
land show (see p. 46). 
Never-never land? 

"... the art of pugilism has long 
been lost in a dark wood which 
has been cast in the shadow of a 
long gone past when mice still got 
separated from men. An un- 

popular champion, which some 
perceived to be much like Lewis 
Carroll's cowardly lion, only 
added to that feeling." ~ article on 
If I only had a brain... 

The conference program of the 
Children's Literature Association, 
to be held here at Fresno State 
June 10-12, has a cover illustration 
of Alice, seen from behind, going 
through the looking-glass. But 
when you open the cover, you are 
in Oz! There are Oz illustrations 
throughout the program, which is 
printed on rainbow-colored paper, 
like The Road to Oz. The back cover 
illustration shows Dorothy having 
tea with a rabbit. John R. Neill's 
Dorothy is blonde, and this pic- 
ture, from The Emerald City of 

Oz, is clearly meant to look like 
something from the Alice books, 
in my humble opinion. ~ Angelica 

"Certainly Mr. Del Tredici has had 
no more luck securing a complete 
performance of Dum Dee Tweedle, 
an exhilarating and wonderfully 
unconventional opera based on 
more Alice texts, than he has with 
his Favorite Penis Poems. ~ "Sex and 
Romanticism? A Composer Dares 
All" by Anne Midgette, Neiu York 
Times, May 29, 2004. 

"In the [19]30's, the property was 
leased by Sir Frederick Liddell, 
father of 'Alice,' until his death 
in 1950." ~ "History of Sandy" 
(a town in Bedforshire, UK) at 


© 2004 Helena de Bairos 


Brazilian artist Helena de Barros, 
whose works grace our cover and 
this page, first became enamored 
of Carroll's works when she was 
still a teenager, reading the excel- 
lent Portuguese 
translation by 
Sebastiao Uchoa 
Leite. Her first 
on illustrating 
Wonderland were 
made in 1992, 
and continue to 
this day, with the 
truly dazzling 
results displayed at 
helenbar/. (Click 
on "more" at the 
bottom of the left 
nav bar to see over 
a hundred Alice 
images.) "I had 
made my dress a 
few months before 
for a friend's cos- 
tume party, and started to make 
some pictures during my free 
time, as I am a graphic designer 
and work a lot with photomon- 
tage. Suddenly, it was turning into 
almost the entire book. I try to be 
as close to the original text as I 
can, reading it many times before 
starting to work. Carroll's text is 
stuffed full of delightful images 
that are always in my mind; trying 
to put it into graphic form is a 
great satisfaction. After conceiving 
the images, I photograph myself 
as Alice using a digital camera 
with a tripod and timer, and do 
all the image manipulation using 
Photoshop, spending almost 30 
hours working on each one, which 
are made in high resolution for 
printing. The Mock Turtle and 
Gryphon image alone took me 
a month and a half. I have been 
totally surprised by the public re- 
sponse: The site has reached over 
300,000 viewers, a number I could 
never have expected. It has 

reached some local papers and 
magazines too; one of them, O 
Globo, is one of the most impor- 
tant papers in the country and I 
was given a two-page article in the 
computer science section. I am 
very proud of carrying CarroH's 


work to so many people. A lot of 
them are surprised to know de- 
tails from the story, which here in 
Brazil is more well known through 
Disney's adaptation than from the 
original text. Now, at the same 
time I am working to complete 
illustrations for the whole story 
and am searching for sponsors to 
publish it as a book with a simulta- 
neous exhibition of large-format 
prints." She was recently inter- 
viewed in the Brazilian magazine 
Vizoo 36 May /June '04 under the 
title "Helenbar: Digital Alice in 


The j'E provides both free and 
paid services. They publish the /E 
Monthly, a free electronic maga- 
zine containing articles on shows, 
auctions, interviews, overviews, 
perspectives and reviews, as well 
as providing a constantly fresh 
worldwide book 
auction calendar 
and a free instant 
auction lot search. 
(An article on the 
Burstein Carroll 
collection can be 
found at 

For paid sub- 
scribers, they offer 
a very important 
database for 
dealers, librar- 
ians, researchers, 
and collectors. It 
contains informa- 
tion gleaned from 
auctions, dealer-, collector- and 
bibliographical catalogues based 
on more than a hundred sources 
and presently comprises more 
than 675,000 full text records. 
This means you can trace prices of 
a specific book offered in auctions 
over the past hundred years! They 
also offer MatchMaker to upload 
and manage your wants to the 
Internet, eBay, and their own Auc- 
tion Watch to look for matches. 
Check them out at www.americana 



lights! camera! auction! 

The Americana Exchange (M) is a 
site for those interested in the his- 
tory of printing in the Americas, 
and it also maintains a quite useful 
record of auction sales. M provides 
essential tools for those who buy, 
sell, collect, or research rare books 
and ephemera. 


Perhaps Borges' famous medita- 
tion on the universal library (com- 
posed, in his schema, of hexagonal 
galleries)* is closer to realization. 
Brewster Kahle's Internet Archive 

* "La biblioteca de Babel" published in 
Eljardin de senderos que bifurcan, 1941, 
reprinted and translated widely. 


at has a rather 
ambitious goal: building a digital 
librar)' of Internet sites and other 
cultural artifacts (books, movies, 
audio) with the end result of "Uni- 
versal Access to All Knowledge." 
Like a paper library, they provide 
free access to researchers, histo- 
rians, scholars, and the general 
public. There are many sections: 
the archive itself (the "Wayback 
Machine") takes snapshots of the 
entire World Wide Web and makes 
them available. Want to know what 
our LCSNA home page looked 
like on January 25, 1999 or any 
of fifty-some other dates? It's all 
here in over 300 terabytes (trillion 
bytes) of data, currently growing at 
a rate of 12 terabytes per month. 
They also sponsor the "Million 
Book Project," a searchable digital 
library with 10,000 texts to date 
and "The Children's Library," 
which includes all of the books 
from the International Children's 
Digital Library (ICDL), providing 
a prestigious compilation of in- 
ternational literature for children 
around the world. (Mr. Kahle 
estimates that the entire contents 
of the Library of Congress could 
be digitized and made available 
in both facsimile and searchable 
text format for the cost of six 
hours of the Iraq war.) Another 
side project is the "Internet Book- 
mobile," with the ability to access, 
download, and print any one of 
the almost 20,000 public domain 
books currently available online. 
"Just like the bookmobiles of the 
past brought wonderful books to 
people in towns across America, 
this century's bookmobile will 
bring an entire digital library to 
their grandchildren." It is a mobile 
digital library capable of down- 
loading public domain books from 
the Internet via satellite and print- 
ing them anytime, anywhere, for 
anyone. Did you know that a full 
color, slick paper paperback can 
be printed on demand for about 
$1 a volume, and the processing 

fees of checking the same book 
out of a library runs about $2? 

Naturally, Wonderland was one 
of the very first books they made 
available. At this writing, it can be 
read online in the 1916 Gabriel 
edition illustrated by Gordon Rob- 
inson, or a 1905 A. L. Burt ("in 
words of one syllable"), or printed 
in a hybrid Tenniel-Rackham for- 
mat. However, there is more to 
come. The present author has pro- 
vided them with eleven rare early 
illustrated editions in English (in- 
cluding the Snark), and editions 
in Bulgarian, Chinese, Dutch, 
Esperanto, Farsi, French, Gaelic, 
German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, 
Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Pol- 
ish, Portuguese, Rumanian, Rus- 
sian, Spanish, Swahili, and Tamali. 
This is only the beginning. 



Literature Online (lion.chadwyck 
.com), "the world's largest cross- 
searchable database of literature 
and criticism" is available by paid 
subscription to "universities and 
other higher education institu- 
tions as well as public and special- 
ist arts libraries ... [and has] over a 
third of a million full-text works of 
poetry, prose and drama in Eng- 
lish, together with the definitive 
online criticism and reference li- 
brary." Their Annual Bibliography 
of English Language and Litera- 
ture (ABELL) has begun to index 
all substantive Knight Letter articles 
by author, title, and subject matter 
("additional search terms"), be- 
ginning with 2002. A fine service; 
unfortunately neither available to 
the public nor Google-able. 


Sarah Adams 

One of the things that is so won- 
derful about the works of Lewis 
Carroll is that for every Humpty- 
Dumptian explanation of what 
something means, someone else is 
sure to have an equal and op- 

posite explanation. Events have 
conspired to give us something 
of the same in what we know of 
Carroll's life, particularly in terms 
of his interest in little girls and/ or 
young (and not so young) women. 
The recently formed group Con- 
trariwise, the Association for New 
Lewis Carroll Studies, has firmly 
marked on which side of the argu- 
ment they stand by putting Look online. 

Looking for Lewis Carroll is 
strongly based on the research and 
writings of Contrariwise founding 
members Karoline Leach and Hu- 
gues Lebailly, with the aim of pre- 
senting "evidence, ideas, theories, 
questions, and no conclusions." 
Much of the site not specifically 
attributed otherwise is drawn from 
Leach's In the Shadow of the Dream- 
child, though many sections are 
significantly expanded. 

After a bare-bones biography 
that, as promised, asks more ques- 
tions than it answers, the site takes 
an in-depth look at Carroll's many 
biographers (including Collin- 
gwood. Bowman, Reed, Gold- 
schmidt, Lennon, Taylor, Green, 
Hudson, Gattegno, Clark, Cohen, 
Bakewell, and Thomas). Accord- 
ing to this analysis, the majority of 
these biographers ignored hard 
evidence and obvious conclusions 
in order to perpetuate a myth 
most likely invented by Carroll's 
own family in order to cover up 
his many socially unacceptable 
friendships with young and not-so- 
young women: that the saintlike 
Carroll preferred the company of 
children, particularly little girls. 

This analysis of the biographies 
leads into a section titled "Chal- 
lenging the Myth." It includes the 
original 1996 articles by Leach and 
Lebailly that started the whole ball 
rolling, re-evaluations of Carroll's 
photography (including an ex- 
cerpt from Douglas Nickel's Dream- 
ing in Pictures), and his philosophy 
and religion (with an introduction 
to the section by John Tufail). The 
"Carroll in the 21st Century" 


section continues with articles by 
other Contrariwise members, such 
as "White Stone" by Kate Lyon 
(first pubUshed in the Knight Let- 
tered)), "From Chaos to Cosmos: 
the Genesis of Sylvie and Bruno" 
by Pascale Renaud-Grosbras, and 
"Creativity and Lewis Carroll" by 
Jenny Woolf. 

A page of links leads the reader 
to specifically Carrollian sites (on- 
line versions of Under Ground and 
S&'B, the various society websites, 
pages on Carroll's photography, 
and literary criticism), sites on 
Carroll's world (his artistic friends 
and associates, contemporary 
articles on prostitution and Bud- 
dhism, information on Victorian 
photography, Theosophy, and the 
Society for Psychical Research), 
and general overviews of Victo- 
rian society (social and political 
issues of the day, the church and 
religious controversies, Victorian 
history and literature). 

The amount of information 
available on this site is amazing, 
with recent additions including 
Carroll's serious and love poetry, 
an extract from Anne Thackeray's 
From an Island, and John Tufail's 
address at the recent Carroll 
conference on "The Illuminated 
Snark." Articles still to come in- 
clude such wide-ranging topics 
as the expressions of guilt in the 
diaries, Carroll's avoidance of the 
priesthood, the "Wasp in a Wig" 
chapter, Carroll's article against 
vivisection, notable editions of the 
books, and book reviews. For a 
site with so much information, it is 
easily navigated, with the ability to 
delve down to a particular article 
or to follow each topic from one 
to the next. Ultimately, whether 
you agree with the Contrariwise 
viewpoint or not, the site's re- 
sources (and expected updates) 
make it well worth exploring, read- 
ing, and revisiting. 


Full leisurely we glide through the 
very day in 1859 on which Alice 
and her two sisters were being 
captured on a sofa for the now 
iconic photograph. 

Andy Malcolm and George 
Pastic have at long last released 
their heartfelt and exquisitely 
crafted film Sincerely Yours on DVD, 
running a leisurely 24 minutes. A 
tantalizing glimpse was offered us 
as long ago as October '99 at our 
meeting in Toronto {KL 62:5) — it 
was then called A Golden After- 
noon — and the film was premiered 
in almost finished form at our San 
Francisco gathering in Novem- 
ber '02 (fully reviewed in KI^ 70: 
3). This sweet series of intimate 
vignettes is a "sort of time capsule 
and glimpse into the mind and 
world of an extraordinary soul," as 
the reviewer put it, and carries our 
highest recommendation. Andy 
Malcolm, 363 Regional Rd 8, RRl, 
Uxbridge ON L9P IRl, Canada; 
(905) 852-2510; -2508 fax; foot US$22 
includes postage. 


"yes, said ALICE, 

"we learned FRENCH 


Armelle V. Futterman 

Leiuis Carroll et la musique 


Although Lewis Carroll claimed 
he did not know anything about 
music, and is believed to have 
been deaf in one ear, music — and 
especially songs — are intimately 
linked to his work. The author of 
this Web site, Alexandre Reverend, 
himself a composer, director, and 
author of three children's books, 
introduces us to many of the songs 
from Carroll texts, and provides a 
wonderful service in having on the 
site recordings of many of them. 
In 1985, Alexandre Reverend 
went to Oxford looking for lost 

music sheets for the many poems 
found throughout Carroll's work, 
songs that were often parodies of 
popular Victorian songs or nursery 
rhymes. Reverend found eighty 
music scores in various Oxford 
libraries. With the help of Cyril de 
Turckheim, a French composer 
and music director. Reverend 
wrote a musical production built 
around the recovered songs, tell- 
ing of the imaginary meeting of 
Lewis Carroll and five little girls 
on the beach at Eastbourne. Le 
Sacre d Alice ("Alice's Coronation") 
opened in December 1985, at the 
Theatre de la Ville in Paris. 

The Web site (which is in 
French) allows the reader to listen 
to a selection of twenty-two songs: 
original popular songs parodied 
by Carroll; composite arrange- 
ments of his poems based on varia- 
tions by Victorian composers; and 
samples from the Saville Clarke 

The site is divided into sec- 
tions — introduction, songs, music, 
stage productions, nursery rhymes, 
parodies, scores — and describes 
within a historical context how 
Carroll wove parodies of popular 
songs and nursery rhymes into his 
books. With the books' growing 
popularity, and in the absence of 
recorded interpretations of the 
original songs, various Victorian 
composers subsequently wrote 
their own variations, often oblivi- 
ous to the fact that these paro- 
died songs already had existing 
melodies. This sometimes clouded 
Lewis Carroll's relationships with 
composers. It is somewhat ironic 
that his parodies, inspired by 
his love for these popular songs, 
gained a notoriety that contrib- 
uted to eclipsing the originals, 
without succeeding in preserving 
them in their original musical 
form. Reverend notes that Carroll 
heard one of the first recordings 
on Edison's phonograph, in Lon- 
don, in 1890. WTiile deploring 
the poor quality of the sound, he 
immediately recognized the ad- 


vantages of the new invention and 
v^fished he could jump ahead fifty 
years, when the technology would 
have been perfected. 

Reverend's researches led him 
to discover letters from Carroll to 
many composers, and to translate 
into French and subsequently 
publish, in 1990, the correspon- 
dence between Carroll and Saville 
Clarke. From this vast epistolary 
material. Reverend presents a lot 
of information on the writing of 
new music for the songs. During 
Carroll's lifetime, several compos- 
ers put the Alice songs to music. In 
1870, years after the first publica- 
tion of Wonderland, William Boyd 
(1845-1928), an organist and 
hymn composer, was the first to 
publish a booklet of music called 
"The Songs from Alice in Wonder- 
land." In 1871, as Looking-Glass 
was about to be published, Carroll 
authorized Boyd to write music 
for any of the songs, while point- 
edly noting that melodies already 
existed. Many other composers, 
including Alfred Gatty, Annie E. 
Armstrong, C. H. Marriott, and E. 
C. Llewellyn, subsequently wrote — 
and rewrote — scores to many of 
the most famous poems. In 1885, 
Armstrong herself published new 
versions of twenty songs. 

Among the music scores avail- 
able on the site is one for "Dream- 
land," the only poem written by 
Lewis Carroll especially for a com- 
poser, his friend Charles Edward 
Hutchinson. The Web site offers 

audio links for many songs along- 
side their mention in the text, 
allowing the reader to listen to 
them as well as read about them. 
Reverend assures us that this new 
technology would certainly have 
pleased Lewis Carroll. 

From Carroll's diaries, Reve- 
rend traces his fascination with 
the theater. He started working 
on a stage adaptation of Alice in 
Wonderland SiS early as 1867, only 
two years after the publication of 
the book. His journal refers to 
his discussion of the project with 
various theater directors — Coe, 
Percy Fitzgerald — without much 
progress. In 1876, a production 
of the Adventures by G. Buckland 
drew mild satisfaction from Lewis 
Carroll, who asked for a few 
changes, but ultimately refused to 
authorize a re-opening of the show 
the following year. Several queries 
by Carroll to Sir Arthur Sullivan 
about writing music to the songs 
from Alice were met with refusal. 
In 1883, he put the same request 
to the composer Alexander Camp- 
bell Mackenzie, who accepted. 
Carroll sat down to tackle the 
task of writing the libretto of the 
proposed opera. In May 1884, he 
notified Mackenzie that he was 
abandoning the project. Two years 
later, Henry Saville Clarke re- 
quested permission for an operatic 
adaptation of Wonderland and 

Looking-Glass in two acts. Numer- 
ous letters testify to Lewis Carroll's 
careful overseeing of the project. 
The operetta opened in December 
1886, with the music composed 
by Walter Slaughter, and notes in 
Carroll's journals show his satisfac- 
tion. The show toured England for 
several months before reopening 
in London in 1888. Notes on two 
other Alice productions appear 
in Carroll's diaries; one in June 
1889 at an art school received 
unfavorable comments from the 
author; the other, by Ruth Daniel 
with music by Paul Rubens, in 
June 1895, drew directly from the 
books' dialogues and the original 
engravings by Tenniel. 

Parodies and nursery rhymes, 
such as Humpty Dumpty or Twee- 
dledum and Tweedledee were of 
great interest to Lewis Carroll, 
who started to write an essay on 
the subject before the publication 
of Alice in Wonderland. Because of 
the popularity of his books, people 
sometimes credit Carroll with the 
creation of these popular Victo- 
rian characters. Carroll's parodies 
outlasted his models, some of 
them having completely disap- 
peared. Reverend lists the original 
songs and poems alongside the 
parodies; thus, in his own way, con- 
tributing to righting this wrong. 



The celebrated American 
illustrator and comics 
pioneer A. B. Frost (1851- 
1928) is known to us for his 
collaborations with Car- 
roll in A Tangled Tale and 
Rhyme? and Reason ? Now 
Fantagraphics Books (Se- 
attle) and Editions de I'An 
(Angouleme, France) have 
co-published Stuff and Non- 
sense, which collects three 
albums of Frost's "sequen- 
tial graphic stories" (com- 
ics) together with sixty illustrated 
limericks and other material into 
one handsome, oversize volume. 
All text in the book, including an 
introductory essay exploring his 
connections to Carroll, is in both 
French and English. 

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper 
Fforde (Penguin USA, 2003). 
"Detective Thursday Next is back 
for another round of time travel- 
ing and bookish sleuthing after 
Fforde 's successful debut, The 
Eyre Affair. Like his earlier novel, 
this one is set in an alternate uni- 
verse — one in which time travel 
is possible and the boundaries 
between life and literature are 
porous." One of the books into 
which she travels is Wonderland. 

In Joyce Carol Oates' The Faith of a 
Writer: Life, Craft, Art (Ecco, 2003), 
she recalls early fascination with 
Wonderland, and relates that she 
strongly identified with the "quest- 
ing, inquisitive Alice." 

In Lilian Jackson Braun's The 
Cat Wfio Talked Turkey (New York: 
Putnam's, 2004), the twenty-sixth 
in her series of mysteries solved 
by a cat, Carrollian names abound 
and the mystery's solution revolves 
around the cat's pushing the 
Snark off the bookshelf. " 'What's 
a Snark? Sounds like something 
spelled backwards.' " remarks one 
of the characters — probably with- 
out having seen Kate Lyons' essay 
(/O. 71:15). 


Colin Manlove's From Alice to 
Harry Potter: Children '5 Fantasy 
in England (Christ Church, NZ: 
Cybereditions, 2003), avail- 
able in paperback ($21) or as a 
download to Adobe Reader from ($16), 
is an introductory survey of the 
topic. Reviewed in The Lion and 
the Unicorn, Vol. 28 No. 1, January, 

The four-volume Dictionary of Nine- 
teenth-Century British Scientists, Ber- 
nard Lightman, editor (London: 
Thoemmes Continuum, 2004), 
contains an essay on C. L. Dodg- 
son, penned by our own 
Dr. Francine Abeles. 

Deborah O'Keefe's Readers in 
Wonderland: the Liberating Worlds of 
Fantasy Fiction from Dorothy to Harry 
Poi^^ (New York: Continuum, 
2003) actually starts with Alice, not 

Tioelve Impossible Things Before Break- 
fast by Jane Yolen is a collection of 
stories for the young (age 9-12) 
reader, including "Tough Alice," 
which takes place in Wonderland. 
Published in 2001 in hardcover by 
Turtleback Books and in paper- 
back by Magic Carpet Books. 

Lost Girls, a series begun in 1991 
and having gone through many 
publishers, is British comics-writ- 
ing legend ( The League of Ex- 
traordinary Gentlemen, From Hell, 
Watchmen) Alan Moore's and artist 
Melinda Gebbie's tale, set in 1913, 
of a meeting between three of 

childhood literature's 
female characters 
(Alice, Dorothy, and 
Wendy) and their erotic 
explorations. The se- 
ries is "an attempt to 
reinvent pornography 
as something exqui- 
site, thoughtful and 
human." Top Shelf 
will be releasing the 
first edition as a three- 
volume hardcover 
graphic novel set (in 
a slip case), and will 
offer a limited run of 
books signed and numbered by 
both Gebbie & Moore as well. See 

Victorian Literary Trivia: 640 Ques- 
tions and Quotations from Jane Aus- 
ten to Oscar Wilde by Kelley Dickin- 
son, Lorman Press, 2004. Includes 
many about Mr. C. Order from her 
at 425 Lakeshore Drive, Madison 
MS 39110. $17. kelley@victorianlit; (877) 656-5320. 

A lovely little booklet of the Snark 
in Hebrew has been produced as 
a tribute to its translator, the late 
Rivka Knohl. It is being distributed 
gratis to anyone interested. Con- 
tact Amnon Shappira | r. Halafta, 
15 I 93181 Jerusalem | Israel; 

Another fine Snark booklet, this 
one in English, has been pro- 
duced by Ramble House. Titled A 
Snark Selection, it is comprised of 
the poem, with Gavin O'Keefe's 
superb illustrations, and two 
chapters by 1940s mystery writer 
Harry Stephen Keeler. Order 
from Fender Tucker, 443 Glad- 
stone Blvd., Shreveport LA 71104;; (318) 
snark.htm. $12 + p&h. 

Alice, Lela Dowling's fine adapta- 
tion of the stories originally pub- 
lished in comic book format by 
Eclipse in 1987, has been collected 
into a graphic novel by About 
Comics. $9. 


Eachtrai Eilise i dTir na niontas 
( Wonderland in a new translation 
into Irish, but you knew that) 
from Coisceim & Evertype, 2003. 
eachtrai-eilise.html. Best way to 
order is through the An Siopa 
Leabhar bookstore. Email them 
a credit card # or send it via post:; An 
Siopa Leabhar, 6 Harcourt Street, 
Dublin 2, Ireland. Hardcover 
€20.00 + postage, paperback €7.50 
+ postage. 


The Lincoln Center Theater Review, 
Issue 37 (Winter/Spring 2004) 
discusses the play King Lear, here 
directed by Sir Jonathan Miller 
and starring Christopher Plummer 
in the title role. The front cover 
photograph was J. M. Cameron's 
King Lear Allotting His Kingdom to 
His Three Daughters, 1872, featuring 
Alice Liddell as Cordelia. Inside 
was her Alethea, also featuring Miss 

An article by Ruth Gledhill in the 
Times (London), March 24, 2004, 
discusses Princess Louise, Queen 
Victoria's sixth child, and alleges 
that the Reverend Robinson Duck- 
worth, he of the trip-up-the-Isis 
fame, was Louise's lover as well as 
her religious guide. 

In Children 's Literature, the annual 
of the Modern Language Associa- 
tion Division on Children's Litera- 
ture and The Children's Literature 
Association, Volume 32, 2004, is 
"The Boy Who Lived: From Car- 
roll's Alice and Barrie's Peter Pan 
to Rowling's Harry Potter" by Amy 
Billone. It asks the question, who 
is today's most beloved child char- 
acter and argues that Harry Potter 
competes with Alice and Peter Pan 
and wins, by combining both of 
them inside himself. 

"Missionary Mail from Tristan da 
Cunha, Part 2" by Robin Taylor in 
Gibbons Stamp Monthly, June 2004, 
contains a photograph of a letter 

from Edwin Dodgson to "My Dear- 
est Maggie" and a complete trans- 
literation of it, speaking about the 
difficulties of sending and receiv- 
ing mail. The article is illustrated 
with Tristan stamps commemo- 
rating Dodgson 's arrival on the 
island and the ships involved in his 
voyages. The article can be read 
online at www.gibbonsstampmon You must register (free) 
before reading it. 

The Vandeboncoeur Collection of Im- 
ages, Issue Three (March 2002) 
has a 13-page color section on 
Harry Rountree, including his 
Alice work, 
3809 Laguna Ave., Palo Alto CA 
94306. $20. 


Internet navigator — and a lot 
more! — ^Alexa ( 
rates sites daily on the basis of traf- 
fic (of other Alexa toolbar users). 
Under "Lewis Carroll," the LCSNA 
has two of the top five (our Soci- 
ety page is #2, our Lewis Carroll 
home page #4) . Surprisingly, 
the #1 most visited site is Ruth 
ZarofTs interactive adventure {KL 
58:22), #3 is the Carroll page at, and #5 is the 
Pazooter Works' "Secrets of Lewiss 
[sic] Carroll Revealed (KL 67:27). 

Speaking of our Web site, there is 
a new page about the Knight Letter 
KnightLetter.htm. Our "Lewis 
Carroll Home Page" is averaging 
22,000 hits a month, from 132 

'''Alice in Wonderland: A Children's 
Book or a Migraineur's Diary?" 
by Deborah Wirtel suggests Car- 
roll was actually a migraineur, and 
that Alice's manifestations in the 
book were representative of his 
migraine auras, which she dis- 
cusses, along with "Alice in Won- 
derland Syndrome." It is a good 
summary and has some useful 

The Disney Channel's early 
'90s TV series Adventures in 
Wonderland has a fan site at 
journal/alice.shtml. One of the 
programs (also in book form) was 
the rather peculiar White Rabbits 
Can't Jump, featuring O.J. Simp- 
son as the title character. 

Everything known about Kaulbach 
Island (Canada) and its 1976 Won- 
derland stamps can be found at 

A picture of the Cheshire Catmo- 
bile from the 2001 Burning Man 
Festival at 
culture/0, 1 284,46557,00.html. 

"Twisted Alice, a spiritual prophy- 
lactic" rant at 

A Mad Tea Party of mechanical 
dolls at 

The "word of the day" on March 
12 at Merriam-Webster's online 
site was "Jabber- 
wocky." "This nonsensical poem 
caught the public's fancy, and by 
1902 'jabberwocky' was being used 
as a generic term for meaning- 
less speech or writing. The word 
'bandersnatch' has also seen some 
use as a general noun, with the 
meaning 'a wildly grotesque or bi- 
zarre individual.' It's a much rarer 
word than jabberwocky,' though." 

All you need to know about 
"Cheshire cells" ("The Cheshire 
group is the space group of the 
crystal when its material contents 
are removed leaving only the sym- 
metry elements, like the smile 
that was left when the Cheshire 
Cat disappeared") can be found 

Cutesy Korean cartoon charac- 
ters called "Pucca" took a trip to 
Wonderland in June, according 
to their downloadable icon and 
"cross-stitche" \_sic} patterns. Visit 


"Intel: Keeping Tabs on Your 
Slithy Toves" by Mark Frauen- 
felder on "The Feature" discusses 
the "Jabberwocky" project at Intel 
Research in Berkeley, California. 
Software downloadable to a Blue- 
tooth mobile phone counts the 
number of "familiar strangers" 
in your "urban atmosphere" and 
gives you a clue as to how often 
you've seen this or that person be- 
articleid= 100626. 

The Nineteenth-Century Ameri- 
can Children's Book Trade Di- 
rectory, has been launched at 
org/btdirectory.htm. "Based upon 
the unparalleled collection of 
Children's Literature held at the 
American Antiquarian Society, this 
comprehensive directory contains 
2,600 entries documenting the 
activity of individuals and firms 
involved in the manufacture and 
distribution of children's books in 
the United States chiefly between 
1821 and 1876." 

The thirteenth annual Loebner 
prize contest to find the most 
"human-seeming" chatbot (a 
computer program that simulates 
conversation) was won by "Jabber- 
wock" by Juergen Pirner. A varia- 
tion of the Turing Test, the contest 
was held in Surrey University's 
Digital World Research Centre 
in 2003. The chatbot "Alice" by 
Richard Wallace (no relation to 
the demented anagrammer who 
wrote The Agony of Lewis Carroll 
[KL 54:8] ) came in near last, de- 
spite having won twice previously. 
Third place went to "Jabberwacky." 
(Do I detect a pattern in the 
names?) If anyone comes up with 
a chatbot that actually passes the 
Turing Test (i.e., its responses are 
"indistinguishable" from a human 
being's), he, she, or they can claim 



The Arne Nixon Center for the 
Study of Children's Literature at 
California State University, Fresno, 
hosted the 31st annual conference 
of the Children's Literature Asso- 
ciation from June 10 to 12. More 
than 140 speakers offered talks on 
varied topics related to the confer- 
ence theme of "Dreams and Vi- 
sions," including Sue Fox of Cali- 
fornia State University, Hayward, 
on "When Dreams Are Night- 
mares: Voicing the Unspeakable 
in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures 
in Wonderland, [etc.]" and Marah 
Gubar of the University of Pitts- 
burgh, "Lewis in Wonderland." 
Presenter John Docherty spoke on 
"Blake and Carroll and also held 
a workshop in San Jose, California 
(see p. 37). 


Claire Khalil's oil paintings and 
watercolors exhibition at the 
Nancy Hoffman Gallery in New 
York City, September-October 
2003, and The Buder Institute 
of American Art in Youngstown, 
Ohio, October-December 2003, 
incorporated many images of 
Alice, including a cityscape of 
Venice, Italy, where she appears in 
various spots. 

Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World is 
New Orleans' showcase of Carni- 
val, with thousands of sensational 
sculptured props on display year- 
round. Devra Kunin visited them 
in February and saw giant heads of 
the Duchess and Tweedledee (or ~ 

"The Red Rose Girls" at The Nor- 
man Rockwell Museum in Stock- 
bridge, Mass., featured the art of 
Jessie Willcox Smith {Boys and Girls 
ofBookland) . November 2003-May 

Vik Muniz plays with toys. That is 
to say, in his "Rebus" series he uses 
tiny plastic toys such as soldiers, 
jacks, guns, cars, whistles, cowboys. 

Indians, and creepy-crawlers to 
compose a replica of a photo- 
graph. "Alice as Beggar-maid" was 
so constructed, photographed, 
and made into 100" X 72" Ci- 
bachrome prints. At the Rena 
Bransten Gallery in San Francisco, 
April-May. $25,000. 



Lobster Alice hy Kira Obolensky, 
in which Salvador Dali travels to 
Hollywood to work on Disney's 
movie, Synchronicity Performance 
Group, August 2003 in Adanta, 

The Ensemble Theater of Cincin- 
nati presented a musical Alice in 
Wonderland by Joe McDonough 
and David Kisor in December, 
2003. This production debuted 
five years ago. 

Alice in Wonderland by the Chil- 
dren's Theater Association — Bill 
Starr, director and choreogra- 
pher — in San Francisco, January. 
For kids. 

Alice in Wonderland by the Pied 
Piper Workshop of the North Bay 
Repertory Theater in San An- 
selmo, Calif., March. For and by 

Maria Bodmann's "psychedelic 
rock'n'roll shadow play" oi Alice in 
Wonderland at the National Day of 
Puppetry festival in Tierra Del Sol 
(Southern California) April 24; 
also in Phoenix, Arizona, June 24 
where you could also see a version 
by the National Marionette The- 
ater the next night. See also p. 37. 

The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony 
in Eight Fits is a 50-minute work 
for a 32-voice choir and "Snarkes- 
tra, an ensemble of instruments 
rejected by people of good taste 
and common sense." The new 
work, by Washington composer 
Maurice Saylor, was performed 
by the Cantate Chamber Singers 
(, in May, 2004, 
at the Bradley Hills Presbyterian 
Church in Bethesda, MD. You can 
hear it 


by searching "Snark." Take 
care to listen to the full score 
and not the vocal scores. The 
complete text can be found at 

"Tasting Memories" at the Neigh- 
borhood Playhouse in Manhattan 
in June, starring Kitty Carlisle 
Hart, was a smorgasbord of songs 
and poems about food. "The Wal- 
rus and the Carpenter," as simg by 
Tammy Grimes, Alvin Epstein, and 
Philip Bosco, was featured. 


All Star Auctions on May 29/30 
had two relevant items: an origi- 
nal production multi-eel image of 
the Disney Alice in a bottle, on a 
hand-prepared background, est: 
$3,500-4,000, and an extremely 
rare Mary Blair (see p. 32) con- 
cept painting of Alice under the 
table, est: $6,500-7,500. Neither 


"The World of Alice in Wonder- 
land" on "The Exchange" on New 
Hampshire Public Radio on May 
10 featured Trish Anderton's in- 
terview with Will Brooker (see p. 
32). "I have just finished listening 
online to an excellent replay of 
the interview with Will Brooker 
about his new book, his interpreta- 
tions of the roots of its criticism, 
the history and the meanings of 
Alice, the Lewis Carroll societies, 
Disney, video games, drugs, and 
many other subjects. It ran for a 
full hour and I think it was very 
enjoyable. Even our own Matt 
Demakos was interviewed for 
about five minutes, and one of our 
newest members called in to add 
his testimonial about the Saturday 
meeting [at Harvard] and the 
Society. Despite the interviewer's 
attempts to steer towards the more 
sensationalistic topics at times, the 
show, in my opinion, left a very 
positive impression of Alice, Car- 

roll and Carrollians. I encourage 
you to listen to the interview on- 
line." ~ Alan Tannenbaum. Hear 
it at 

On Minnesota Public Radio's The 
Writer's Almanac, a daily five-min- 
ute filler of poetry and history 
broadcast on public radio stations 
nationally, host Garrison Keillor 
discussed Lewis Carroll on his 
172nd birthday, January 27, 2004, 
along with snippets about fellow- 
birthdayers Jerome Kern and Mo- 
zart. Not much new and Keillor, of 
course, managed to mispronounce 
both "Dodgson" and "Liddell." 

Evening Music xuith David Gar- 
land from WNYC in New York on 
NPR presented "Down the Rabbit 
Hole" on Friday, April 9, with mu- 
sical selections from Fine, Taylor, 
Baumann, and Del Tredici. 

"W" Hotels' new series of print ads 
proclaim "Welcome to Wonder- 
land." Dunno why. 


AJames Sadler Alice teapot, 
from the BBC America Shop,, (800) 

Bill Bruford's album One of a Kind 
(Polydor, 1979)— Polydor, 1979)— 
now available on CD — contains 
the track "Fainting in Coils," 
which begins with a reading from 

Charles Stierlen, a Peruvian artist 
now living in Florida, has done a 
series of Alice-inspired oil paint- 
ings, 30" X 40" or 36" X 48" in 
size, average price is $1,200. The 
word "nymphet" might come 
to mind. You can see his work 
alice.htm. {Alice in Cyberspace: A 
Radio Drama Series by David Dem- 
chuk, published in softcover by 
the LCSCanada and available from 
The Battered Silicon Dispatch 
Box,, P O Box 122, 
Sauk City WI 53583, is an amusing 
15-part "adaptation" of the 

story, sort of Doug Adams mixed 
with Dennis Potter. The CD of the 
1999-2000 CBC/Radio Canada 
broadcast may be ordered from 
their shop at 250 Front Street 
West, Toronto, ON, M5V 3G6, 
Canada;; (800) 
955-771 1. Their Web store at has a two- 
cassette package containing a 1965 
radio dramatization of Wonderland 
and a 1947 broadcast of Looking- 

If you need some hedgehog step- 
ping stones to complement the 
pink flamingoes on your lawn, 
see Smith and Hawken's new 
catalog. Sets of two for $20. (800) 
Or a nicely reproduced Tenniel 
Gryphon from Alberene Royal 
Mail Catalog. $35. (800) 843-9078; 

Linda Sunshine's resplendently 
colorful All Things Alice book 
featuring many early artists (Rack- 
ham, Hudson, Folkard, McManus, 
Kay, Atwell, Winter, etc.) is coming 
this fall, and will be covered in 
depth in the next issue. Mean- 
while, an associated 2005 calendar 
is being published by Welcome 
Books. An order sheet has been 
inserted into this issue, but for the 
record you can order it for $12.95 
(includes free s&h if you men- 
tion the LCSNA) from Welcome 
Books, 6 W. 18th St., New York 
NY 10011; (212) 989-3200x24; Very 
nicely done!